“Come Thou Font of Every Blessing, Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Grace”
Fountains are magical. The slight gurgles and giggles of the water speeding through the different levels calm and soothe the soul. If I close my eyes while standing in front of one, I’m transported to a piazzo in Tuscany, relaxing under the warm sun in an overstuffed lawn chair enjoying the delight of a sweet gelato.
Over the weekend, I attended a retreat. It was the perfect vehicle for me to honor my body’s need for refreshment, my spirit’s need for replenishment and my soul’s need to delight itself in God solely because He is God.
Thank goodness the retreat center had a fountain. Just sitting for a moment besides it before the retreat began taught me a valuable lesson. Between the rush of household chores, my daily routine and several emotionally draining conversations, I had forgotten to take time to rest. Not sleep, not tuning out while watching television, not even checking out like you do on vacation. But rest – gaining refreshment and rejuvenation simply by being in the presence of our Creator and Redeemer.
Psalm 36:9 states, “For with you is the fountain of life…” Remembering those words helped give myself permission to surrender fully before God. I knew before ever stepping in this tranquil courtyard that the byproduct of my frenzied life was crowding out the voice of the Holy Spirit, who is the agent of change in the Christian life.
Giving up my time is not easy – my pace is often frenetic. But I had reached a point where I was believing my happiness, my fulfillment was up to me. That’s a dangerous place to be because life requires supernatural effort. It was definitely time to humbly listen to the Holy Spirit. Only by being known can we experience the depths of God’s love.
There is no magic formula to resting in the Lord. Mine involved striking a new posture, of letting go of the effort and stress in life and replacing it with a new willingness to submit to God. Because as the retreat director reminded, “Our significance has nothing to do with who we are or what we have done, but rather has to do with who God is and what He has done.” When I am totally dependent on Him, I am strong.
Giving up control has never been easy for me. I have a strong personality and am frequently the bull in the china shop forging ahead without ever asking God, “Is this Your way for my life? Is this even the path I should be taking?”
While I was fortunate to have time away, we all have a daily need to open our hearts to His work of redemption. Our souls crave purposefully setting aside a time to practice resting in Him. Our minds and life changes when we slow down and savor God, to just be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
Please join me at the fountain as we savor our gelato and create a personal, spacious leisure to savor God and His grace. It will absolutely change your life.