Douglas and I like to go for walks on the paths here in town. There is so many trees, and just walking between such beauty soothes my soul. The problem is that we tend to wait until it is too hot to walk, and neither of us ever remembers to bring a bottle of water or a towel with us, even after many years of walking together. Go figure! It would make more sense to wait until the cool of the evening, but that fact hasn’t yet seemed to register in our brains, and we are two pretty educated people!
In the cool of the evening was the time that God came to spend time with his new human creations (Genesis 3:8-9). I often imagine what it would be like today to walk with God in the cool of the evening, telling Him my problems and my issues, and having His sweet reassurances that all will be well. However, the Scriptures remind me that, even though I may not see Him face-to-face, He is yet walking with me.
Psalm 23:4 (Amplified Bible translation) says, “Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me;Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.” And Isaiah 43: 2 states, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” There is wonderful peace for me in knowing that even in the darkest moments of the soul, when grief and suffering abound, I do not have to be afraid in my daily walk, for He is providing both protection and guidance.
Douglas and I have reached that time in a marriage when you do not need to talk to each other every second you are together, so our walks are often great times for silent reflection. I feel safe with this good man that God so graciously and lovingly placed in my life, so I can spend the time in our walks talking with the Creator and listening for His response in my spirit. Sometimes I am moved by the Holy Spirit to sing aloud one of my favorite songs, and Douglas loves it when I do, although some of the other walkers may not appreciate my tone-deaf rendition of In the Garden:
I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses. And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses. And He walks with me. And He talks with me. And He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known. He speaks and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing. And the melody that He gave to me, within my heart is ringing. And He walks with me. And He talks with me. And He tells me I am His own. And joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known. (Jim Reeves, Warner/Chappell Music)
As I sing this song or The Old Rugged Cross, I am reminded of the promises of God that He would walk among His people, and through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, he does just that with me. My hope is that one day, I will walk with Him face-to-face, and there in my heavenly home, I will continuously praise Him for His protection, guidance, and unfailing love in the land of the living. Whether in the cool of the evening or in the morning as the dew refreshes the flowers and the grass, just being in His presence will bring a song to my heart.
Thank you for wanting to be in the presence of your people. We are flawed, but, thankfully, You still love us. To think of those moments when you walked with the first humans in the evening when the cool breezes flowed is so beautiful, and I am thankful that through the Holy Spirit, in many ways you are still walking with Your people each day, keeping us safe in Your strong arms. Today, may Your grace and mercy be felt and experienced in all the places effected by hurricanes, earthquakes, injustice, and racial, ethnic, and spiritual oppression and persecution. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.