Thoughts From The Hill…

Dear Friends:

One spring Saturday, a few years back, Bob piddled around the house for a while after breakfast, and then said, “Let’s just take the day.” We threw on our jackets, jumped in the Suburban, and meandered along back roads, around the lakes, ending up in Trigg County at a beautiful creek where a shallow stream of water, glistening in the sunlight, snaked through a wide bed.

I always loved days like that one when we had no agenda or place to be, when we could relax away from our day to day responsibilities and relish uninterrupted time together. Our only plan was to enjoy each other and the crisp, early spring weather. We’d all been there before. We loved it.

Once there, the warm sunshine on our backs was a stark contrast to the icy cold, spring-fed creek water running through our fingers. Surrounded by the natural beauty, I noticed the stones lining the edges of the streambed. They were different from the rough, flat irregular-shaped rocks of Wades Creek, behind our house. These stones felt intentionally formed like works of art, as if they had purpose in their seemingly perfect shapes and smooth, soft edges. I couldn’t help but gather a few to bring home with me.

I’ve tucked them away in the small flowerbeds behind my house, used them to prop open the lattice doors underneath the porch, and to hold down a note or cover up a key left for a friend. Each time I pick one up and rub my hands over its cool soft surface I go back to the creek in Trigg County, counting myself blessed to have received the gift of that day.

Stones have been part of life since the beginning of time. They mark the resting place of the dead, they serve as landmarks to acknowledge the great price paid for freedom, and they often form paths we follow to reach our destinations.

Archeologists have uncovered massive “standing stones” in Israel, which according to Bible teacher and historian Ray Vanderlaan, were erected to signify a place of great political or spiritual victory. Throughout Old Testament Scripture God often instructed the Jewish people to scour a riverbed for rocks and stones and build monuments so that for years to come, their children and others would stop and say, “What is it that God has done here?” The Israelites could answer with stories of God’s deliverance from their enemies and his many provisions.

We too are stones, breathing, living reminders of who God is and what He has done. Like the standing stones unearthed from generations past, we represent a spiritual victory over death and the unfathomable price paid for all our sin. Understanding what it means to be saved by his life and that we have life because of his resurrection allows us to cease trying to keep up and do better, and to let his life reign in us and work through us. It’s here where we rest and the mundane and mediocre become extraordinary and exceptional. Then, we can take our eyes off the fruit and turn to the vine. All these gifts are the abundance of life in Christ.

This revelation creates a difference in us that will catch the attention of others. Our children, future generations, and all we meet, may just look at us and ask, “What is it that has happened here?”

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. (1Corinthians 2:12)