This is Day 20 of 40 days of the allegorical devotional fiction, The Woman in the Wilderness.
His Open Hand
The other side was not as she expected it to be. Where she expected arid deserts as far as the eye could see, she found green grass beneath her feet and fresh air filling her lungs with every breath. A cool breeze caressed her skin, like a comforting whisper of good things to come.
More than that, she could sense a shift in her spirit. It was as if a scale has been tipped within her, where her spirit was winning against her flesh.
She walked on with a smile on her face and peace in her soul. Her joy spilled over when she found still waters in the form a quiet pool. She knelt on the ground cupping water into her hands so she could quench her thirst. The water was as medicine, bringing healing and restoration to her soul.
He loves me! He loves me! He’s my Guide, my Shield! He brought me here!
Laughter filled her heart and spilled over her lips. A satisfaction unlike anything she’d ever felt before came over her. She knew that this was a momentary reprieve, a time to catch her breath, but somehow she knew that she had nothing to fear. She looked at the journey ahead, and even while knowing all its dangers and all the reasons it would give her to falter, His presence within her assured her that nothing could harm her.
Her thirst satiated, she lied on the grass and stared at the clear blue sky. She relished this feeling, this moment of feeling so alive. She then sensed it – heard it even – footsteps drawing near. She sat up. Her heart leapt at the sight that greeted her. She didn’t know it was her eyes or her mind playing tricks on her. Was He a vision? A figment of her imagination brought about by deep longing?
It didn’t matter. The One she loved – the One Who loved her like no other – was there, and He had His open hand, scarred by His love for her, extended to her. An invitation to be with Him before she could venture once again into the depths of this wilderness.
For a moment, a sense of reverence filled her, almost as if she was afraid of His touch, but love and joy quickly overpowered the fear. She wasn’t even certain if the love and the joy was coming from her or from Him. It was almost as if it was flowing from His open hand right to her.
Coming to her senses, she reached for His open hand, and they walked together by the still waters. Both quiet, both content to be in each other’s company, both more than satisfied to linger in the presence of love.
The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1-3 (AMP)
You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
Psalm 145:16 (NKJV)
Encounter. Nothing satisfies more than those sweet, intimate, personal encounters we have with Jesus. If you have spent significant time in your pursuit of Him, in your relationship with Him, then you’ve had one of these.
Perhaps it was through a conference or through a church event. Sunday school. Prayer meetings. Or maybe it was just within the confines of your room. Moments when you knew! You just knew He was right there with you. We live for moments like these, when we experience His manifest presence, and if we could only linger! If we could only just stay there forever and ever!
It’s a foretaste of heaven. A mountaintop experience, so to speak. We meet with Him in the wilderness. We commune with Him, and there are moments like these where we sense Him in a deeper and greater way than we do the rest of the journey.
Wherever you’re at in your relationship with Him, I pray that you have one of these encounters. I pray that you will have one of those moments when you want nothing more than to linger in His presence, held by His hand, surrounded by His love.
May these moments restore you and give you strength for the journey ahead. We crave these moments. We need these moments. May He grant it to you and to me. Encounters with Him that will lead us on as we follow Him wherever He may lead.