God desires our worship. But what does that mean?
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25
My backyard is one of my favorite places. On our first tour of the house, I caught sight of it out the dining room window and fell in love. The upper level right outside the back stairs leads to a set of stone steps. Down below sits half an acre of grass, broken up by a small patch of trees in the middle, and woods at the far edge of our property line.
A closer look shows that we are not great landscapers or gardeners. Most of the charm came through the work of the house’s former owners, who cleared a lot of trees and planted a lot of annuals. I’m embarrassed to admit that in the 20+ years we’ve lived here, it’s been all about maintenance rather than improvement.
But I can confidently say that no one else could have enjoyed this yard more than me. Whether it’s been watching the snow fly from inside in winter or hanging out around the fire pit on a summer evening, I’ve appreciated every angle of sunlight and change of color as the months go by. This Summer, I’ve been reminded of how special this small piece of land has been to me, and how God has used it to bring blessing to my heart.
Two particular examples come to mind. One was in early August during a busy spell, when the morning sun was bright and the air was clean. To paraphrase Maria in The Sound of Music, “The yard called to me.” Coffee cup in hand, I took myself out, walked the length, and settled on the top step. I soaked in a sense of both healing and delight – and spoke my praise out loud.
The other instance was not so delightful, but it was just as powerful. During one of my first afternoons alone all summer, I stepped outside just as before. But this time, my heart was heavy. Within a few seconds, tears were streaming down my face and I was crying out to God. But once again, a sense of healing came, this time with a calming touch. I sat on the step and let myself be quiet, waiting for what God had to say.
One of the greatest things about my yard is that God knew how much I’d treasure this space, and gave it to me as a loving gift. He wants to give all of us places like that, where we can find refreshment and joy in His presence.