A place of refuge

Nature is where dreams are born



Where do you go when you need help? Wisdom says to go to the Lord, but where we seek Him can also be very important. I am often called to the woods and lakes There is a connection between God and me in nature that seems to strip away the fluff that can often in.terfere with my connection to my Lord. There we are myself, the trees around me, and the spirit of the living God. Have you ever had a tree speak to you? They speak to me with great spiritual truths. Please do not think that I am losing it.

The squirrels chatter that at me all the time scolding me with sharp caustic remarks that make the other wildlife blush. The important thing is not whether I am all there, or not, but that God has a hold of the part of me that is. It is like our old neighbor by the cabin who had two teeth left. He always told me that the number of teeth that he had are not as important as knowing how to use them to eat. He made a lot of sense in a backwoods way. But, what would I know? After all the trees talk to me.

Getting back to some semblance of reality, the cabin has always been the place of refuge for me that I retreat to. I remember the evening that my father passed away. It was a long evening, but when all had settled down, my soul pulled me out to the cabin. It was dark when I got there, but I relived all the years of memories that my dad and I logged together at the cabin the work, the hunting, the fishing, and all of the life lessons that his many years had collected.

Then there was the day that my mother passed away. Again, it was busy, but after all was done, and every phone call had been made, I again retreated to the cabin where I relived all the great memories with my mom the gardens, her great cooking, and the many times fishing. I have so many memories and many deep times of meeting God at the cabin.

When I add to these the many family reunions, and the many church picnics and baptisms I can go on vacation by just walking around the land that I love. As I walk around the land that I greatly love, there is a natural relaxation that happens with the fellowship of the trees, reflections from the waters of the lake, and the majesty of the birds and animals that grace the forest. There is a gentle nonverbal voice of God that speaks deeply to the inner person in me.

Sometimes I get direction, sometimes confirmation, sometimes warning, sometimes correction, and sometimes hope as the Word of God speaks loudly to me without voice so clear that my inner person knows, without a doubt, that my Creator has given me direction. Some would wonder how I can connect with myself and God in an atmosphere of branches and treetops. But no matter what the season, I can exit my time enjoying creation with a peace that calms my being, and with direction and hope that fills me with a joyful confidence.

Often in life we go forward with a shaky confidence that leaves us in an uncertainty as we spend much energy fumbling our way into future plans. When I meet with God, I know the steps I need to take, and know the master map maker knows what subsequent briefings that I will need to help find the main trails of my life.

Well, that is enough philosophizing for now. Maybe I will start a little charcoal fire in the grill to roast a tasty treat while I start the sauna to further relax my body with cleansing steam and peaceful reflection. Life has more than enough challenges, but God always has more answers than the problems require.

Rod Tuomi lives in Hibbing and is the pastor at Hibbing Christian Assembly. He is a frequent contributor to Hometown Focus.

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