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Yesterday, my daughter asked me to take her and a friend to a nearby park.  Clouds threatened but I agreed.  I watched them run to the swings, hop on the green plastic seats, grab the chains, lean back and swing.  Immediately, smiles and laughter erupted, erasing the cares and stress of the day.  Their brown hair flew back and forth, cascading on their shoulders as their feet pointed to the sky!  Rain drops tiptoed on my windshield as I continued to watch them from my car.  I knew that they were getting wet but they were not bothered by it.  They had the playground to themselves so they would wiggle down the slide or climb and hang from the bars.  I just loved seeing them relax.  After about 20 minutes, the rain buckets tipped from the sky so I knew it was time to go.  They came to my car but still, they didn’t want to go.  It was a warm 78 degrees so I let them stay just a few more minutes.

Once we got back home, their soggy tee shirts needed changing. Their wet hair dried as we ate spaghetti for dinner and decompressed as we shared stories around the dinner table.  Isn’t it great when kids can just be kids?  There were no devices at the playground.  Just the kids and the play structure.  And, the rain.

As I left an appointment today, I had forgotten my umbrella but still needed to get to my car which was parked at least a minute’s walk away from the building.  My soaked shoes and feet galloped across streams in the parking lot until I reached my car.  I jumped in and saw my skin wet with rain and my hair dripping.  I had only been in the rain briefly, but the rain had soaked me!

Going to God is much like the playground scene that I witnessed yesterday or my quick trip to my car in the rain.  First, I leave the stress and mentally shift into His presence.  Sometimes, I have a while to spend with Him or just a few seconds.  Next, I use the tools that He provides which is prayer and His Word.  As I read and pray, I am able to see my world through a lens that previously wasn’t available as His Word soaks me in truth.  I can stay as long as I want so that flash floods of His presence fill my heart.

I want God’s Word to soak in and change my heart.  Whether I get to read a sentence, a devotional, a book with Biblical applications or a whole passage of Scripture, I know that the Word of God is life changing.  In a world where I can’t control much of what has happened, I can invite the soaking presence of a sovereign God into my heart when I get into the Word.

Mary, the teenage mother of Jesus, agreed to what the angel of the Lord told her in Luke 1:38:  “Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.”  She was chosen, blessed, favored and full of faith in a God who does the impossible.  I can almost hear her stating that she is in agreement with God.  I believe that she trusted Him and knew that life would never be the same for her once she became the mother of Jesus.  She allowed the visit from the angel to change her life and soaked her with hope for the future.  Like Mary, we get to hear from God when His Word is read.  Romans 10:17 proclaims, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”  If we lack faith, then it’s time to listen and hear what God wants us to hear.  The angel of the Lord, Gabriel, came with a message to Mary which soaked her heart to prepare her for the future.  The news was Good News!

As I spend time with Him, I see His heart through the heroes and heroines in His Word.  He provided for them as He worked in their circumstances which offers hope and healing to my circumstances.  The stresses of life can soak us in worry but God calls us to a better place, a place of His Truth such as John 14:27 where Jesus tells us this:  “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.

How can a soaking of peace exist?  It’s okay to have questions.  Mary had a question too?  She asked the angel, “How can this happen?”  The angel responded that “Nothing is impossible with God.”  Now, how would you like to experience the peace that Mary had even though all odds were against her?  I think that we will have to believe God and trust that His plan is good for our lives.  Lay down the stress and worry.  Give your questions to God and He will see your faith as you believe Him to open doors and close them.  His grace and mercy will find a way to wash away the doubts and prepare us to listen and be willing to trust Him fully.  Once His words fill our hearts and soak into our minds, His gift of peace will be present.

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