Where, oh where, is that quiet space to engage God? Susanna Wesley was the mother of nineteen children, two of whom were John and Charles. Nine of the children died as infants, but you can only guess what life might have been like in that home.
Where would a busy mother find space for God? It has been said that she found a few moments each day by sitting down and throwing her apron over her head. What, not even a closet in which to hide? No, just an apron. But consider the impact her life had on her children, especially John and Charles.
One might conclude that the rise of Methodism, one of the most important manifestations of the First Great Awakening began not in the open air where Whitefield preached, nor in the venues crowded by thousands to hear John and Charles Wesley, but in a mother’s apron, where she made space to prevail with God in prayer.
“Dollie,” our little mixed dachshund, is yipping at my feet, even as I write this post. She loves her “Mommy and Daddy,” but her needs press urgently upon me, like the demands of family and ministry. But the question is, do we love God enough to make space in our lives for Him?
Thank God I don’t have to resort to an apron! But for the soul that has no other option and resorts to a piece of cloth, my God will quench your thirsty soul!
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” John 7:37b NIV
Ed has had over 30 years of ministry experience, sixteen of them at Greenwoods Community Church in the southern Berkshires of Massachusetts. More recently he has fulfilled an extended transitional interim assignment for the Alliance Southeast of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Leesburg, Florida. In addition, Ed has had nearly 13 years of experience in the field of geriatric healthcare.
Ed’s is happily married to Lynn, having recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Lynn is a true partner in ministry, having served Greenwoods Community Church as its Children's Ministry Coordinator for over ten years. She is a decorator, colorist, instructor in furniture painting, and an artist in her own right. For over 20 years she had her own business, Whimsical Brushes, teaching and traveling throughout the Northeast. Lynn is also active as a women’s outreach speaker for Stonecroft Ministries in Florida.
God has given Ed a burden to be a mentor pastor, developing leaders for the church in the 21st Century. One way in which he is fulfilling that calling is through Rockbridge Seminary, where he serves as an adjunct professor of Spiritual Formation. Ed has earned degrees from Cairn University (B.S. 1971), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M. 1979), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min. 2007). He has published several articles on the Spiritual Heritage of Litchfield County, Connecticut, and led several tours of sites associated with the Village Revivals that spawned the Second Great Awakening in New England. In his spare time, you are likely to find Ed at the piano or pecking out a blog on his blog page https://hiddenarrows.blog
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3 thoughts on “Where Is Your Sacred Space?”
It is odd that we desire to close our eyes and shut the world out to find God. Yet in Psalm 139 David sings there is nowhere we can go that God is not already there.
Matthew Henry in his commentary on Psalm 139 says,” No veil can hide us from God’s eye, no, not that of the thickest darkness, v. 11, 12. “If I say, Yet the darkness shall cover me, when nothing else will, alas! I find myself deceived; the curtains of the evening will stand me in no more stead than the wings of the morning; even the night shall be light about me… When God divided between the light and darkness it was with a reservation of this prerogative, that to himself the darkness and the light should still be both alike.”
In the dark or in the light, in mass confusion or in silent serenity, in a bed made in heaven or a bed made in hell as Henry quotes the heathen Roman philosopher Seneca, “Whithersoever thou turnest thyself, thou wilt see God meeting thee.”
We live in a world of noise and digital distractions. God sees us, but do we see Him? Like Jesus, we need to find a solitary place from time to time to engage our ABBA Father. But your point is well taken. Regardless of where we find ourselves it is comforting to know, He sees!
God sees us, but do we see Him?
As Hamlet said, “that is the question“.
The “under the apron” moments are precious indeed. I find those times most often during the morning hours in wood. I will hum Eleanor Farjeon’s words, “Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven, Like the first dewfall on the first grass, Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden, Sprung in completeness where his feet pass.”
Yet His feet pass not only in those glistening moments as the early morning sun catches the dewfall, but also in all the static encompassing about me as I plod through the balance of the day. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Exchanging my plodding for “seeing His feet pass” through rejoicing and praying without ceasing is a continuing fleshly failure for me. My only hope is verse 24, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
I do so enjoy reading your blog. Somehow the blog forces my introspection which always leads me back to the cowboy wisdom, “Your worst enemy is usually the fellow looking back at you when you are shaving in the morning.”