The other night I didn't get Gracie, my dog, tied up when I should have and when I went out for her, she was nowhere to be found. Not only that, but she was silent, which told me my Great Pyrennes was playing possum. So, being the well trained master that I am, I grabbed her evening dog biscuit and leash, and took off for the orchard—one of her favorite haunts.
The moon hadn't come up yet and it was dark out, really dark. An amazing thing happened. The further I got away from the house and the big yard light we have, the more I could see the stars. It wasn't nearly as dark as I originally thought it was. In fact, I could see a lot with just the starlight. And not just that, things had a beauty they don't have in the sunlight.
I stopped calling for Gracie and simply stood still in the middle of the orchard. The gentle breeze blew through me just as surely as it blew through the orchard and it carried off much of the stress and strain of the day with it. I was left with the crisp freshness in my mind and soul. I didn't worry about my dog playing possum, I didn't worry about my kids' mouths or my frustration over accomplishing nothing that day. I just stood and looked up at the stars and the then at the silent orchard in the starlight. The starlight lit up the hillside, allowing me to see it in a way I don't often get to.
In the silence I could hear the whisper of the breeze and the rustle of the winter-dried grass. It was in that silence that I could finally hear my soul sigh. I didn't mind the cold, for once, I just wanted to linger and soak up the starlit silence. I wonder if that's a small glimpse of how Jesus felt when He went to a lonely place by Himself to pray.
When I was in my yard I had missed the beauty of the night because there were so many lights all around me, but when I withdrew to a hillside by myself, I found beauty, refreshment and peace. A deep, quenching peace that wrapped around me, filled me and assured me that, in the end, all would be well. God is sovereign and He loves me with an everlasting love.
And to think that I would've missed those moments with God if I had just stayed in my yard and hollered for Gracie, as I've often done. It was worth the quarter mile trek in the dark. I didn't find Gracie out there, but I found grace. Out away from the lights and noise of my yard, I found God waiting for me in a soul quenching, starlit silence.
But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:16