Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
It is empty space I need more than anything.
Not another latte. Not a list of things to do. Jesus, will you come into this space? Will You convince my heart it is big enough for You?
You see, I trick myself into thinking it is good for my heart to crowd out the Savior who restores me. This happens because it is so easy to say yes to the next thing to do. But I can only give from what He gives me. Anything else–it is not love; it is not good.
I can live in my head a lot.
I fill my mind with information, thinking that more knowledge is what will make me more something somehow, or more responsible, or more productive. But what does it mean to be more? What good is more if this more is not from God? What value is anything if what is achieved is done with us not holding fast to our Savior’s hand?
Jesus, hold fast to this hand.
The best ideas come from a soul restored–don’t you agree? My true heart, the one that knows how to love, exists in the broad space, the wide-open space of my heart where the Holy Spirit resides within me. I think you know this too. Will you join me in letting go of the things–unique to each of us–that are in the way of us being fully present with God?
What are those things, Jesus?
To create this day, to be at peace this day, let us lay down the outcome, the desire to achieve for the sake of achievement.
Let us lay down the desire to do just for the sake of doing.
Let us ask Jesus some questions, “What is it, Jesus, you are calling us to today? What is it, Lord, that you want us to say yes to, or no? Will you lead us to a quiet place, above the fray? Will you quiet your daughter and bring stillness to this heart? Will you equip us to be bold and fight against this culture that clangs, a noisy cymbal of ‘do this, buy that, go here, read this, respond now’? Will you convince our hearts that this day, this day, is “good”?
Jesus, You are good. What does it mean to have a good day? Can you tell us here again?
“Deep breath, child. Sit with Me.”
Is that it? Is it that simple?
“Is it simple, child? Do you make it simple?”
No. No, I don’t. Father. I complicate it. Show me. Help me.
So I take that deep breath. I look up. I see what is around me. I see it, surely, for the first time.
I am sitting on a bench outside our town’s library, amidst an orchard of apricot trees. The branches packed with still green leaves. They trees stand in front of me, a tidy pack of friends, breeze rustling their leaves, jewels dangling fancy and calm. I think of the day all will be restored.
Will these same trees dance before the Lord on the day of restoration? When the Lord comes again, will they stay here, calm and quiet? Or will they lift their branches and grow even taller? Will they stretch wider? How will they celebrate the coming of the King who makes all things new? Even now? Even here? What will it sound like for the trees to sing and clap their branches, their hands? I will hear the sound. My souls knows it now, already.
Lord, help us hear the sound of restoration taking place, even now, in our strong, beating hearts.
We are not feeble, no.
We are daughters who stand straight and tall and bow low and know the feeling of Jesus’ hand as it brushes back the hair from our face. Lord, let us breathe deeply of You this day. Remind us what is true, what is good, what is before us, how You are here and in no hurry. You fill every space. You fill my entire heart.
Below the apricot trees are dead branches pruned weeks ago. The branches sit in piles, leaves crispy and brown. What needs to be cut, Lord? Search our hearts. Prune off the branches that get in our way of praising You, reaching for You, desiring You more than anything else.
Our King, free us from the trappings of this world that weigh us down. Let us hold fast to only what You bring. We want nothing more than You.
How are you invited to sit and breathe? When you do, what is it your heart sees?
This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com