And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed Mark 1:35
Just one day ago, our home was bustling with family members who came for a visit. The laughter and conversation of our grandchildren and their parents filled the air. There were a couple of evenings when our son surprised us with amusing renditions using musical instruments. Teenage granddaughters burst out in song, and suddenly, improvised dancing routines were being displayed in the living room! We played board games, grilled seafood outside, had neighbors over for dinner, and stayed up late watching movies together. The days were bursting with activities. We swam in the perfect temperature of the coastal water, toured the sea turtle rescue center, and played golf. We went out to eat at our favorite restaurants, took long walks along the shore, and sat for hours feeling the cool sea breeze under the shade of beach umbrellas. All the while, we talked about our grandson who, instead of being here, spent this week of vacation in boot camp. Our grandson missed the first of several summer beach trips he will miss as he serves our country. We missed his entertaining conversation and laughter, and each day, we prayed for his safety.
From daylight until midnight we were busy, busy, busy. There were sunburns in the evenings and sleepy-eyed discussions before coffee in the mornings. There were piles of wet beach towels and sandy shoes. There were shopping trips for beach souvenirs and examinations of sea shells washed up by the tides. We crammed two-weeks worth of activities into just a few days. And all too soon, we heard the sound of roller-board luggage wheels wobbling back out to the car. Then, a final wave goodbye and honk of the horn, and the carload of our loved ones began their long journey back home.
That was yesterday. This morning was quiet. Too quiet. After the days of chaotic family fun, our house is back to the usual state of quietness. After days of being on-the-go, the morning has almost too much stillness to bear. These quiet times provide a pause in which we can remember our gratefulness to God for giving us the chaos. We are thankful that our house can be filled from time-to-time with the commotion of activities from morning until night. The solitude and silence allows us time to appreciate the blessings of the past few days. And during this quietness, we can do what Jesus did in his quiet time. We pray.
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord teach us how to pray, as John taught his disciples. And he said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation. Luke 11:1-4
So in our stillness, we pray. In the quietness of the day, we are grateful. We give thanks for our family and all of our many blessings. We sweep the sand from our floors and give thanks for the feet that visited our home and brought the sand with them from the beach. We wash the piles of beach towels and are grateful for the sunshine filled days and warm breezy weather we enjoyed with our family when they were here. We pray for our family’s safe travel home and safe return to us for another visit. We are thankful for our freedom and our resources that we enjoy as we travel back and forth to visit each other. We give thanks for our wonderful country in which we live and the bravery of our grandson and his best friend, as they prepare to protect us all back home. God is good.
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ Ephesians 5:20
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