Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Canada"1 (Lyrics)
Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. (ESV)
In the late springtime, I found myself outdoors in the early morning, enjoying the quiet part of my day before entering into the business of Saturday. My family and weekend house guests were still fast asleep indoors, soon to wake.
As I sat outside, listening to the various birds, I tried to identify the different chirps and sounds. There were some short, gentle chirps, some louder, longer chirps and a variety of pitches and tones that caught my ears. There was also the sound of the gentle wind rustling leaves and the odd sound of a branch breaking. One sound, in particular, caught my ear and drew me to listen closer: cooOOoo-woo-woo-woooo, the slow gentle sound of the mourning dove. To many, the mourning dove is a symbol of peace found in the Bible, art, and poetry. The dove reminded me of the receding waters after the flood. What a joyful sight it must have been to see the dove return with a freshly plucked olive branch. God was using the dove to send a message to Noah.
I knew the sound of the mourning dove, because when I was a child, my dad took the time to teach me how to listen to the sounds of nature and hone in on the various sounds. He seemed to enjoy sharing these things with me, and was delighted when I could recognize and identify the sounds on my own.
My dad passed on eleven years ago now, but I fondly recall our times outdoors together and the various things that he taught me. I loved to please my dad and see delight on his face.
Quietly pondering, I recalled my need to listen for God's voice in the early times of the day and seek His guidance and wisdom. I know that when I do this, I can follow the right path and experience His peace. I want to teach my children many things, like my parents taught me, so that their time on this earth will be as peaceful and meaningful as possible. The most important thing I can teach them, which will never become obsolete or useless, is to listen to God, to hear His voice, and follow His guidance for them. It will benefit them long after I am gone, and I can rest assured that God will lead them through the good times and the trials with steadfast wisdom and love.
I can't always put into words the many things that I have learned spending time reading God's Word or carving out that special quiet time with Him alone. I do know that it is priceless and fills me with peace. Not always does this happen immediately — sometimes, it's later in the week when a new situation arises and the lesson or guidance that God has provided is ready to be applied. I am filled with peace and a thankful heart that He took care in teaching me what I needed to know for future use. What about you?
Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
Prayer: Dear gracious, heavenly Father, thank You for revealing Yourself to us when we seek You with all of our hearts. Help us to seek Your will and guidance throughout the days ahead and to know that Your loving guidance, wisdom, and presence are available to us, so that we may walk with You in peace. In Jesus' precious and powerful name, we pray. Amen.