"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25
I wouldn't call myself claustrophobic, but I tend to enjoy uncluttered spaces and open windows better than tight, messy, and windowless places. There's nothing more refreshing than opening a window and letting a gentle breeze waft through or more satisfying than prancing through a just-cleaned house without stubbing my baby toes on piled-up messes. You may not relate and that's okay. It's just how I'm wired.
But even with the windows wide open and the messes gone, sometimes I need to step outside of my little world called home and breathe in some fresh air - get around other people and survey the horizon. When I stay put too long, I can lose sight of the big picture or get discouraged when lots of little things go wrong all at once. And then, who's there to pull me out when I'm shut up inside my own four walls? No one but my husband and two cats.
Now don't get me wrong, I adore my husband. He's full of God's wisdom and the first person I run to, but we breathe the same air. When God wants to change my perspective, grab my attention, sometimes it's best He change my environment altogether - get me in a place thick with His Presence.
One such place is my corporate church family. It's more than going to church. It's a place where God meets me in tangible ways - through worship, Biblical teachings, corporate prayer, and personal healing. When we worship corporately God shows up and the entire atmosphere shifts - in the sanctuary and in my soul. I leave refreshed, renewed, encouraged, and sometimes challenged (in a good way). And that's what God intended for His Church. We are meant to meet together to encourage one another and to spur one another on in love and good deeds until Christ returns (Hebrews 10:24).
Other refreshing places thick with God's presence are some of YOUR blogs - when you write with pens and cursors dripping with God's words. You encourage my heart. Deliver God's thoughts for me without even knowing. Sometimes I chuckle, sometimes I cry, but always walk away redirected and mindful of God's love through you. Thank you. There's too many to name, but a few are listed under my favorites. I'm sure I'll be adding more after July's writers conference!
Another place God leads me to is the ocean. I've talked about it before, but that's where I dump my heart - at the edge of the world. When I feel pent up or overly introspective the ocean serves as my release valve. God seasons my tongue with salty breezes and opens my eyes to His majesty, His creativity, His bigness - and I empty all of me right there - until I walk away renewed.
Where do you go when you need a bit of fresh air?