Monday, May 12, 2008

Riding With Micah

Missing our old home just a bit tonight, and remembering...

"Mama, is that God's hot breath, do you think, blowing in our faces?"

I blew a wisp of hair out of my eyes and wiped away some drops of sweat with the back of my hand. Smiling at Micah, I thought for a moment.

It was seven-thirty in the evening, and my chance to have some quiet time alone had been foiled when Micah overheard me talking to my husband about taking a bike ride. The baby was asleep, and the evening was cooling down (a bit), so the quiet country roads were calling to me.

"Oh, Mama, can I go with you? Please?"

At my quick, "No, Micah," his face fell, and his neck hung low. I glanced at my husband over the top of Micah's cowlick, and he smiled and tipped his head, giving me a look that said, "Why not?"

And so, there we were; our helmets strapped snugly, exposed skin covered in bug spray, with a half hour to roam the countryside together.

The kildeer shot from their hiding places in the gravel at the sides of the roads and called frantically, flying ahead to distract us from their nests. A deer bounded across the field to our right, and we skidded to a stop to watch it disappear over the hill.

In the midst of all this beauty the smell of cows, warm grass, and fresh growing mint were carried past our noses by a stifling wind.

The breath of God?

It was relentless, carrying the bodies of tiny gnats into our faces, catching in our teeth. It was stifling, letting up only when we turned our faces to catch a cool breath. It was unbearable at times, when the heat of the ground and manure joined the wind and assaulted us, burning our throats and eyes.

I told Micah this story, how Elijah stood in the presence of God. How the Lord sent signs through nature, but He did not inhabit it. How at that precise moment, simply a still, small voice denoted His presence.

"So maybe, Micah, God sent this hot wind. Perhaps He is not in it - but can you hear His voice?"

"Well," he pedaled slower to stay by my side. "Not really. I think it would be easier to hear Him in the shade!"

We laughed together and increased our speed to reach the grove of trees ahead of us.

And sure enough, a cooler breeze awaited.

We listened for a moment, one foot on the ground, resting our forearms on the handlebars. "Yup," Micah affirmed. "I can hear Him now. But you know, I think He was in the hot wind, too. I don't think it's so bad if He's there, too, do you?"

I thought of all the moments in the past few days that had seemed unbearable, how my space was stifling me with all the responsibilities of being a mama, and how relentless God seemed as He sent trials my way to strengthen my quick prayers for patience and energy.

But it didn't seem so bad when I remembered that He inhabits my days, and my heart.

As we traveled the road home which, by the way, happened to blow with a wind more blistering than soothing, we thanked God for both.

It is only the scorching wind that causes us to turn for cool refreshment.

And there He is again.

(Originally posted in the summer of 2007 - from my archives at CWO's Internet Cafe)

6 fellow travelers shared:

~nanashouse~ said...

I took a walk with my brother tonight after dinner. Now, mind you, we both have heart conditions, yet...we were able to walk and talk about our ailing parents and the plans that lie ahead. God met us there. Two hearts entwined. Thank you Jesus for energy to walk, breath to talk and your Spirit to enable us to make decisions.

Ben, Kelly and Sophie said...

Elise, Thank you for allowing God to write these words on your heart (and blog!). I had a day, yesterday, where it felt to me that my trials were "relentless in coming," and yet, what a beautiful reminder that God "inhabits my days."

Cathy said...

Yes, in the shade -- where I think it easier to hear God -- I find I nap. Only in the scorch do I run to the Son.


Quinne said...

Hi Elise :) This is lovely! Thanks so much for this encouragement today. And oh! How I appreciated the words from your Micah's heart. Love, Q

Jenn4him said...

I thank you for posting this. You have a gift for writing. Thank you for using that gift to bring glory to Him.

Luke & Erin said...

Thank you so much for posting this story. You are a beautiful writer. And your story brought me much encouragement today after a rough day with 3 kids - alone. Thanks for allowing the Lord to use your vessel.

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