It was adorable. Quaint. Off the beaten path. And had we not decided to go a different way, we never would’ve discovered it. Troy and I have been enjoying country drives lately, as we discover our new community, and dream about having land some day.
This one particular spring evening, not too long ago, we were driving down a beautiful country road; the tall trees on either side of the road looming, waiting to bloom once again. We almost missed it, but we saw this sign, The Village of Spring Lake. It didn’t look like much from where we were, as you had to drive over a hill to get to the actual village. I said to Troy, “Let’s check it out! You never know!”
So we pulled a left turn and as we drove the 30km/h village speed limit, we began to explode with ooo’s and ah’s. Every house we passed was different, surrounded by trees and character; lake cabins and year-round homes, set in this secluded lake community. Properties filled with green-grass backyards, expanding to the lakefront in the distance. We kept saying, “Man we almost missed this! It’s amazing!” We were in adoration of everything we could see; excited for visiting the lake ourselves in the near future.
All because we decided to go over the hill and take a different path. It wasn’t one we planned on, but was more beautiful than we expected! (photo taken from aerial view on Google, as we forgot to take pictures when we were there! 😦 )
Earlier this morning the phrase ‘strength to strength’ came to mind. I knew it was in the Bible somewhere, but couldn’t remember where. I came upon Psalm 84 as I looked it up, and it was food for my soul today!
King David begins the chapter with exultation, blessings to God. “How lovely is your dwelling place…” He then goes on to say in vs 5,7, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion…They go from strength to strength.”
Off the top of my head, I thought zion meant worship, but as I looked it up, what it really means is “fortification, a raising up, a monument”. The word zion appears over 150 times in the Bible, sometimes as a place, and sometimes with deeper spiritual meaning. Since I haven’t done enough research or study to know the depth of it, all I can share is what this chapter speaks to me, from this text.
Worship fortifies us along our path – planned or unexpected. Through it, we go from strength to strength. And you sure see what is in your heart on those unexpected pathways! When I say worship, I don’t just mean sitting or kneeling with your hands raised – it’s a position of the heart. What consumes our thoughts, our time, our finances, our conversations, is evidence of where we place our adoration.
Even though I’ve been a Christian since I was a little girl, the Lord has been peeling back the layers of faulty belief systems, cracks of fear-based behavior, and is revealing the gospel – the unadulterated redeeming power of the gospel. The gospel isn’t something you accept once as a little girl at a summer camp Sunday school meeting like I did, no. The amazing power of the gospel is that Jesus redeems us through the cross, daily, along the pathways. In the waiting, along the road, He is our sun and shield (vs. 11). But I am realizing a huge key along the way is the position of our hearts, in worship. He does the changing, from strength to strength.
My prayer lately has been SO much less of asking God to do things for and in me, and more just to reveal Himself to me. Reveal His heart, His character, His gospel. And as I pray this, worship seems to be flowing more and more from my heart. It’s Him. It’s so not me, because never before have I ever been more aware of my faults and more aware of His grace in the gospel.
So friends, don’t miss what’s over the hill. In fact, don’t be afraid of what’s over the hill. On the unexpected turns, worship. His purpose is to take us from strength to strength, not to diminish us, but to fortify us. For His glory.