Why does it hurt & what am I really afraid of? Those are the questions I would ask myself the following day, just moments before I get in a drift boat to float and fish down the Big Horn River. I woke up, not by an alarm, just simply woke up. There I am wondering what today will bring. I remember thinking, I feel rested. Could it be? Maybe I can go home now and do all the things I thought I should’ve stayed behind to do? Nah, I wasn’t rested but I wasn’t sleepy either. I had gotten some great sleep. Little did I know that this desired rest was only a few minutes away from penetrating my heart, mind, and soul. After grabbing a cup of morning anointing juice, also known as black coffee, I found my way to a lawn chair overlooking the plains of Montana with the Big Horn river nestled in the center of my picturesque view. I opened my Bible, then I closed it and repeated that about a dozen times before that voice appeared again. The voice Is the one I mentioned in Montana part 1. This time it said “be still”. I tried but couldn’t. I took a deep breath and held it in and slowly released it. A few repetitions and my body became still. There I was, overlooking the absolute beauty of Gods creation. No email, no kids, no Facebook, no church tasks, no friends, no worries, no place to be, nothing was there except me and God. Others may say they were there, but in this parameter of time and space, it was just me and God in the most beautiful place I’d ever been. Of course I’ve traveled the world and seen some beauty’s but this one was different. It was special.
After almost an hour of just sitting, listening, and reflecting and probably from time to time, even questioning, I managed to open my bible. There I was in the Book of Ephesians. In total AWE, my eyes had been leaking some. These tears were unrelated to the hurt and fear. These were what my children call “happy” tears. The space I was currently occupying was a heavenly space. It was indescribable. It was peaceful. It was as almost as good as if Chick-fil-A had announced they’d be opening on Sunday’s😂. In this moment, I read these words
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”
Ephesians 1:4 NLT
Before this beauty was created, the creator LOVED ME. WOW!!! I can’t wait to preach that, I thought, and all of the sudden, that voice appeared almost shouting, “don’t preach it, process it”. God was saying those word are for you to receive not for you to recite. The tears gained mass and momentum. Freedom was overtaking my body, mind, and soul, Freedom isn’t always comfortable & it wasn’t at this moment either. I was LOVED by the creator and while I’ve spent much of my life getting that message to everyone in my reach, the creator stopped time to make sure I remembered HE LOVED ME as much as He loves those I deliver the message to. The creator loves me and sees me without fault!!! I soaked in that moment like a roast would soak in a crock pot at mamas house on a Sunday morning before Church.
This isn’t something I hadn’t known, it’s something I had forgotten. Forgotten may be a little strong of a word, perhaps I hadn’t forgotten but I had failed to remember and reflect on this love for me. My parents had told me this. My brother had told me this, in fact I think his voicemail today still says “Jesus loves you so much that He gave His life for you”! The pastors in my life had told me this. I had read this in His word before. Today, the reminder of His love for me would occupy a space in my mind, body, and souls that required the eviction of some incompatible thoughts. Literally, I grabbed my journal and began writing. It’s unnecessary for those words to be published as they were mostly for me and not for others. In that moment I discovered some principles I’ll happily share with you:
1- somethings God will take out of your heart
2- somethings God will point out in your heart and rely on you take out
3- the need for heart surgery is almost always unexpected
I had some breakfast and boarded the drift boat to fly fish for some trout in the amazing Big Horn river. After learning to cast a fly rod we were in the water with our fishing guide named Jacen. Every cast would be echoed with Jacens, even more country accent than mine, nice cast. He would say other things like “I like it”, “that’s nice”, “yea baby, and when I’d get it tangled he’d whisper “bring it here and I’ll fix it”, “you got this”. The day on the river was amazing even if I’d only been out there for 20 minutes. That day didn’t result in me catching any fish but I did hook up with a “tank of a brown trout” based on Jacen’s description. It resulted in me fishing, laughing, relaxing & finding rest like I never knew existed. Half way into our day we stopped for some beers and brats on the river (see picture above). After lunch we were back in the drift boats, drifting, fishing and occasionally stopping for some wade fishing.
Fishing ended and we made it back to the lodge where I put my running gear on and went for a jog. After my jog, I showered and laid on my bed just reflecting. Trying to wrap my mind around what had happened and what was happening. A few moments later my friend calls my name followed my “it’s time for dinner”. Dinner time meant sacred time and space around the table. At the table this time I was different, but so was everyone else. What happened that night could possibly be revealed in the next part of my Montana blog….
Until then take a few moments and review these questions:
What would a deep breath for you look like?
Would you slow down and let God take somethings out and point some things out in your heart? Where do you need rest?
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 NLT