Often I go out onto my back porch to have devotions or to pray. There’s nothing special about it really. It’s screened in, but we have to leave the sliding door open so the dogs can get out to the yard when needed. Flying insects that find themselves trapped in my screened in haven from time to time and for some reason love to fly in my face. My view isn’t especially great as there is a house right behind us, so I’m not out there to soak in a majestic view of all God’s created.
But, you know what, that small place, like my park trail, has become holy on more than one occasion.
On this particular morning, a few days after hearing the podcast with life changing words about receiving, I was kneeling in the center in my screened in space, right under the ceiling working hard to provide a breeze. I was staring out into the backyard just as the morning dew was lifting. A cardinal had taken up a home in a nearby tree, she landed on the fence and stared at me as though she wanted to speak. I stared back at her; she was as radiant and red as fire, perched proudly and she began to sing.
I bowed my head low and began to pray again for peace, sweet peace.
It was in this very sacred moment, in my black fuzzy robe on a not so fancy back porch the Lord spoke so clearly to my heart. “Peace has always been there, Sandi, you just have to receive it.” “Receive it, Lord?” I whispered for me and the cardinal to hear. “Yes, just receive.”
“What exactly does that mean?” I thought.
My mind was quickly taken back to a time when I was kneeling at an altar with a friend and she, even back then, was praying for peace of mind and soul. As she was praying she spoke to me, “I can feel the peace of the Lord like RAIN in my soul, can you feel it friend?” Weeping, I said, “no.”
Reliving that moment reminded me the Lord had been trying to give me this gift of peace for so long but I didn’t know how to receive it. Just like the podcast speaker, I was too afraid and I didn’t believe. More out of desperation than anything noble, I cried out to the Lord for help.
It was at my back porch revival I spoke the words that bubbled up from my heart, “I receive, Lord, I receive your peace.” There were no bells or whistles, no big fanfare, just a strong sense I had been heard and a solid feeling everything was going to be okay.
It’s funny because nothing about my life changed in that moment, but everything about HOW I LOOKED at my life changed.
I’ll never forget it.
I’m marking it here on this page, like a chronicling of the beginning of a deeper place.
In the days since this experience, I’ve learned peace is not something that comes to stay; it is something to receive each day. It’s been a challenge to keep peace as the enemy loves to stalk us with fear and uncertainties. He wields unbelief like a sword slicing away our resolve. But day after day I continue to ask the Lord for peace and then I remind myself to receive it.
Receiving is an invitation to fill my mind. I looked up the word in the dictionary and one of the definitions kind of surprised me.
- RECEIVE- to act as a receptacle or container for –ex. the cistern receives water (RAIN) from the roof.
I want to be that empty cistern; the empty container that receives peace my Father wants to RAIN down from heaven.
I nearly jumped for joy and cried all at once a couple of days later as I walked my familiar trail and the next topic in the podcast series was “Receiving.”
It was just the confirmation I needed to look toward heaven and pray for “RAIN.”