I have just returned from an early morning walk around our holiday neighborhood of Wanaka, New Zealand. In surveying both the majesty of God’s creation and soaking in the stillness and quietness around me, my heart aches at having to leave today.
This place oozes with the spectacular beauty of a Master Painter, who has brought me to my knees in awe-struck wonder. When I walk and run here, I feel as if I have been given a glimpse into heaven and I am filled with such incredible yearning for more. And yet even here, this “more” alludes me. It’s as if I cannot humanely take it all in. My heart is bursting at the seams and yet I ache for more.
It makes me recall the following Scripture:
Romans 8: 22 – 25 (The Message)
22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
And that’s exactly what it feels like: an “enlarging”. As my mind, body and heart have stilled, the deep yearning of my soul has been re-awakened. And as this yearning has grown, so have the “birth pangs…within” me, birth pangs for a place where this unbridled, awe-struck wonder will be multiplied beyond recognition:
Revelation 5: 13 (NIV)
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever.”
And so in the painful yearning for what cannot yet be fully revealed, my heart rejoices at what is to come. I am filled with exuberant, bursting at the seams thanksgiving and praise for a God who has and continues to gift us grace, upon, grace, upon grace.
Psalm 100 (NIV)
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
- Psalm 100:3 Or and not we ourselves
Note: all the photos from this post were taken while walking in Wanaka this past week.