Safe in the glorious, perfect love of God
A devotional by Jessica Brodie
“The Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’”
—Genesis 3:9 (CEB)
There is something about early morning that connects me in the deep, beautiful love I share with God.
A hush still envelops the world, and I hear only the birds twittering in the trees and the squirrels scavenging furiously for nuts, perhaps a few cars in the distance, but not enough to disturb. My house is quiet—the kids are drowsing in their beds. My husband is snoozing peacefully. Even my cat isn’t quite ready to move.
There’s a special magic in the air, and my heart and soul are still in dreamland, even if my body is in motion. I drink a glass of water and look out the window, marveling at creation and steeped in gratitude for all God has given us—given me.
I brew coffee and think about the day, carrying God along for every step. He’s right there with me, and it feels so natural and right. We are close, still, before the day and its distractions threaten to drive a wedge between us, a wedge I’ll try to fight all day. But this early, there are no distractions yet. It’s just me and God, as it should be. As He intended.
We talk together in prayer, and I sit and read His Word, bathing in His presence. Thank you, God, is my refrain, sometimes spoken and sometimes thought. You, Lord, are everything.
Once in a while, I have a little extra time to go for a walk, and I lace up my sneakers and stride down the road to the lake and back again, a good two-mile loop before the heat of the day makes exercise unbearable. My connection stays with God all this time—I feel Him in every step, every breath, every beam of sunlight.
Sometimes it doesn’t happen like this. I oversleep, or I have so many things on my mind I crowd out such special time with my Creator. I read the Word, but my own thoughts and plans creep in, or my prayers feel rushed. The connection, on my end, is slippery. I have to work throughout the day to rein it in and stay close.
But I’ve learned over the years that this connection is critical to my love relationship with God. That’s “our time,” whether it comes in the early morning solitude or when I allow myself to fully relax and just be. And I strive as I grow in faith for “our time” to be “all the time,” with every breath and every thought.
I imagine that’s how it was in the first days, when God created Adam and Eve and they all lived in perfect harmony together (Genesis 2:4-25). They spoke together. They shared, loved, laughed, and talked. But then came the fall, when Adam and Eve broke God’s rule and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and their relationship was forever changed. They were driven from the garden. Their sin had become an eternal wedge, only mended through God’s grace in the form of His son, Jesus.
I like to think of my morning time as if I’m back in the garden with the Lord, sharing creation in pure accord as He’d intended. And I think of the distractions of my day, the things I put before God (even though I don’t mean to!), as that wedge—the forbidden fruit I must avoid. I know I’m not in the garden, of course. I know only through Jesus can I fully connect with God.
Still, I read these lines in the Bible, and they resonate profoundly: “The Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” (Genesis 3:9 CEB).
Throughout my busy day, I hear God asking, “Where are you?” The question brings me back, and I remember exactly where I am: safe in the glorious, perfect love of God.
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden.
She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministries team.
Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com/shiningthelight.