I like to pray on my morning walks by the bay. The wide, endless skies and the expansive waters that stretch beyond the horizon inspire me in the early morning hours. Today I prayed as I walked, “Jesus, fill me up with everything I need today.” It was a good prayer. Simple. Direct. Not too demanding or narrow-minded. Open to the possibilities. I didn’t really know what lay ahead for the day or what my real needs are or would be. So I thought this prayer was sufficient to address my immediate future. God always shows me so much more. That’s what happens when I pray.
As I approached the waterfront, in the pre-dawn light, I stopped to watch the clouds forming on the horizon and the rising light behind them, accentuating their billowy tufts. It was so peaceful and serene – a good space to pray. Quietly standing there, I let the sound of the water comfort me – the gentle waves washing ashore. They were in endless motion – an ingress of waves moving toward me, lapping at the water’s edge, constantly approaching, one after the other after the other.
I smiled. I knew just what Jesus was doing. How clever and sometimes shy He is. He wanted to show something about his nature, his way with me and everyone else. That’s what this morning was all about. This was my answer to my prayer.
I said to him “Jesus fill me up with everything I need today”. He said to me: “Elizabeth, do you see these gentle, caressing waves? This is how I bring my goodness, and my grace to you. Day after day, I move towards you, pouring myself out for you, pooling at your feet, creating depths for you to step into. My grace to you never ends. It is a constant ingress. I fill you up with everything you need today. I am everything you need. Open yourself up to me.”
So I did. So I do.
One the way home, I remembered a verse I had read yesterday. It comes from the Book of Romans, and really had nothing to do with my prayer or my circumstances, so I thought. And yet there it was, resounding in my head, like the waves lapping at the shore. Here is what it said:
“We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide-open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” (Romans 5:1-2 from The Message)
We think we have approached God. We think we have invited him into our day. Instead, he has preceded us. He is already here, waiting for us, answering “Yes” and then some, to all our deepest needs and desires. All he wants is for us to see it. It is coming at us, with a steady, endless movement – an inflow of his Spirit – an inflow of his goodness and grace. We can hardly contain it all. No, indeed we can’t, but we open our hearts and lives to it, letting it wash over us. And we find ourselves standing, where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide-open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
This is why I go on my walk.
It is a good day.
I think it is going to be a good day, indeed.