Darkness is as Light to God—Psalm 139 v. 12

Gazing outward from the top of the ridge
strikes of lightening appear
Brightening the sky in the dark of the night
in all four directions.

Sleep evades me not out of fear or dread
but out of the sense of
wonder at the illuminated power
as it is transmitted.

Most of the time I miss seeing the
spectacular shows of
nature. Houses and office buildings block
the energy in the city.

From now on, I’ll be on special lookout
to see where the divine
light will strike and bring messages
from the blank chalkboard of the heavens.

Peaceful pauses in the day open our eyes
to the energetic
waves that pulse and renew our chaotic
world for the good.

The intensity of this force cannot be
denied, when for a
fraction of a second the blinding bolts
shine brilliantly.

A Four-Hour Microcosm

No matter how much my intent is to live a contemplative life, I do wonder, what energetic effects do I miss in everyday life?
Last week I relied upon energetic youth to pull me back upon the inner tube after getting into the river. My own strength was sapped after climbing on and off dozens of times. Certainly, the current was strong, the riverbed was thick with sand (or could be rocky) varying within short spans. Every so often the relaxing trip could be grit building, especially when considering the trip ended up being twice as long as expected due to record low water levels. There were no paddles to speed up the process, so sometimes there was no other option but to get off the circle of inner tubes and tow them downstream a bit.

Amongst the group we had one who would have given anything for a sandwich, another begging the flies to stop biting (until she finally put her towel over her back), and all but one of us praying that around the next bend we’d see the sign that said the end of this adventure was near!

Most amazing was the one who kept encouraging us to enjoy the trip. Actually, he said he was glad it was going on for so long. We did get twice the trip for our money! This young man kept his eyes open for yet another snapping turtle and interesting wildlife along the shoreline. His eyes were peeled for fish in the water, yet we didn’t see but a few the entire time. They were smartly hunkered down in cooler places on this 102-degree day.

Looking back, I see that time together was but a microcosm of life. On this particular four-hour adventure, the presence of God was keenly felt when floating effortlessly down the river on our backs, truly being in the flow with creation. Yet it was also felt when attempting to fight the current, which can be a daunting task and takes the strength of everyone working together.
There were emotional highs and lows, times to draw strength from the apostle Paul in the words from Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and times to pray Psalm 139:8-12. Finally, these words from Job 12: 7-10 remind us to listen and to listen to the creation.

Even birds and animals have much they could teach you;
ask the creatures of earth and sea for their wisdom.
All of them know that the Lord’s hand made them.
It is God who directs the lives of his creatures;
everyone’s life is in our Creator’s power.

May you know God’s absolute love for you and be blessed!
Rev. Marta Wheeler


To view and download a PDF of this Devotional, click this link: Devotional MW 2021-06-30