I pray best when I walk. It’s as if my soul is connected with my soles, those on the bottom of my feet. When we lived in Michigan I usually walked out back of our place, along a field and through a woods. When we were preparing for our trip to Florida to buy a home I was concerned as to whether we’d find a home with a place nearby for me to take my prayer walk. I sensed the Lord saying to me (no audible voice, just an impression), “Dave, I desire taking these walks together more than you do. Don’t you think I’ll find a place for us to walk together?”
We found a nice home in Brandon, Florida. I hadn’t noticed any obvious place to take a walk, but we felt it was the house for us. When we moved in I took my first few walks around the neighborhood, not finding any more natural setting in which to walk. I was somewhat disappointed, but also thought that maybe the Lord just wanted me to learn to connect with him on sidewalks rather than paths. About a week later I was walking a sidewalk along a road near our house, walking further than I had before, maybe ten minutes. I came upon a small open pasture-like area. There were no signs forbidding trespassing. I walked to the back of the grassy area and was pleasantly jolted by what I saw. I walked into a wooded area, probably about twenty acres in size. There was a path and open areas with small palm trees all around. It looked and felt like a modern day Garden of Eden. The accompanying photo is one I took of my new rendezvous location.* Upon discovering my oasis in Brandon I thanked the Lord over and over again for providing such a beautiful place to meet with Him.
I realize God doesn’t always come through for us the way we want, He doesn’t always for me. On the other hand, this was, to me, a clear communication from the Lord that He cares for me and wants to be with me even more than I care for Him and want to be with Him. This is something I often forget, that the Lord yearns for a relationship with me more than I yearn for one with Him. We keep calling ourselves the spiritual seeker when He is the real seeker, the Seeker of all seekers, the Seeker after us.
I suspect we’re misguided by our sense that God is hiding Himself from us. After all, He could make Himself more plainly real if He would choose to do so. I believe we misinterpret His intentions. His hiddenness is actually intended to prompt us to desire Him more.
The reality is that God cannot love us more and won’t love us less! His yearning for us is always greater than our yearning for Him. When we pray we should not picture ourselves trying to gain the attention of a distracted or disinterested God. Instead, when we pray, we should picture God moving to the edge of His throne, leaning forward and toward us, anxious to hear from us.
Overlooking the great city of Jerusalem, Jesus exclaimed with deep emotion, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Luke 13:34)