Picnicking in the Presence

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My child,


You seem to expect my walks with You to be like a picnic in the woods. From the minute you hear Me call, “Come follow”, you energetically begin the prattle about the destination and the buzz about the basket. 


You have dreams of rolling apple-green meadows and envision stream-side knolls where I am to unfold a patchwork blanket before you. You vividly imagine our lunches including cherry-red jam and Pooh’s favorite honey, all sparkling brightly as the sun’s rays glisten through the Kerr canning jars. Every imagination is a delight, with you lounging one day upon mint-scented foliage and the next among a hedge of honeysuckle. 


Let Me clarify a few key truths about the feast:


The rest is in My Presence, not your surroundings.


Life is not a quiet, indulgent outing, eaten al fresco. Instead, it’s crowded and noisy, chaotic and tangled. When I call you to come away, you will often find that, upon arrival, a multitude has taken our designated camp ground (Mark 6:31,33). 


You see, the repose is not in the destination, but in sitting next to Me in the boat. Sometimes we dialog, sometimes we’re silent, sometimes I sleep while you bail water (Matthew 8:24-25). But you are never lost, never forsaken, never unloved.


You won’t always like the location.


I walk in the dark. I journey in the heat. I roam over lonely dusty roads and push my way through the crowds. Because you are My child, I take you along, despite your cries because the noise hurts your ears or the dust chokes your throat. 


I’m training you to be like Me. Bringing you into My love and  the steadfastness of Sonship isn’t accomplished by indulging your childish dreams (Hebrews 12:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:5). You need endurance and only going through the hard places will help you build up resistance toward trauma and fatigue (Hebrews 10:36).  


The contents of the basket is not always sweet. 


The Apostle John experienced this the hard way, when he found the words sweet to taste, but quite discomforting to his digestion (Revelation 10:9). Addiction to the sweet life is poison, just as sugar in excess is toxic.  My nutrition pyramid is well-peppered with pain, disappointments and monotony, all in portions you need and bites you can swallow (1 Corinthians 10:13). Although the experiences may not always be your preference, you can still taste and see that I am always good (Psalm 32:8; 1 Peter 2:3).


Come along, My child. I am with you. Remember that I’m protecting you wherever you go (Genesis 28:15). Don’t be discouraged, I’m both within you and surrounding you, upholding you always with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10). I promise to give you strength for the journey and peace along the way (Psalm 29:11). Will you take My Hand?