We went for a ride in the country on a recent day when the sky was a brilliant blue, the clouds were extra white and fluffy with a side of possibility, and the wind was snoozing while swaying slightly in a hammock with no thoughts of waking up.
It was as near a perfect day as you can receive in the fickle days of summer in Iowa and nearby Nebraska. Not too hot and, amazingly, not humid. I’m not exactly sure when we crossed the state line from Iowa into Nebraska, since we were traveling the backroads that haven’t changed much for many years.
If these roads could talk, they’d tell stories of the people and the families who have traveled them. The years continue to pass and the families continue to grow like the crops. They grow up, plant families of their own and watch them grow, time and time again. The road looks on with pleasure, as if the road itself encourages the growth that’s all around it. And maybe it does.
There are subtle differences between the two states. The hills are more pronounced in this part of Nebraska, a little bit west of Winnebago. They’re rounder at times, making me think of a Grant Wood painting. But just when I think I have them all figured out, they change. They become sharper and more dramatic in their angles. They’re rugged and welcoming at the same time, like a grandmother who’s been working hard picking beans in the hot the sun all afternoon, but takes the time to make her loved ones a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade, while ripening tomatoes grace old boards set atop saw horses.
The sunlight plays on fields of growing corn making the long leaves sparkle like jewels in the wide expanse of deeper and lighter shades of green. In just the perfect places, clouds cast shadows on the roads, the fields, and the hills, as if someone is placing the final touches on a painting in progress.
And somehow, my friend and I are part of that painting.
We’re the travelers that drive on the road as each new brushstroke makes a way for us to go a little farther. Just when the paint appears to be drying and I think that I can finally predict what’s up ahead, we turn down a long road that leads to a farm. Not so unusual until you see the little chapel snuggled into the land next to the most perfect Bob Ross trees.
We walk the sidewalk to the chapel. A sign reads, “Welcome to our Little Church. Stop in and chat with the Lord!” And so we do.
Inside are four little pews, stained glass windows that look freshly painted, an altar, a small pulpit, a baptismal font, a well-worn Bible whose words are just as alive and appropriate today as the day they were written, a couple of pictures of Jesus, and a banner that reads, “Let every heart prepare him room.”
They all grace this place of peace.
A peace that’s encompassing the minute you step outside the world and into this sanctuary. Even the sound is different. There’s a quietness here that makes you forget busy schedules, fleeting summer days, and other noisy obligations that can fill your mind. This is a place to step out of time and take the time to rest. To truly rest in the Lord.
This is a place to sit and reflect upon our blessings. A time to quietly pray prayers of praises to the Lord. A time to express the desires of our hearts, which are also the Lord’s desires for us if we truly walk with him. This is the time to listen to the small, still voice of God as he whispers his love.
This is the time to put down our own paint brushes and allow the Master to paint the path for our lives. The one he conceived for each one of us before we were even born.
It’s hard to leave this place of peace. Looking back I notice the word “GAP” in capital letters on the outside of the chapel. It’s a good place to go to stand in the gap for someone. To pray for those who don’t know the Lord and for those who are having trials in their lives.
Words representing each letter pop into my mind. God’s Adored People. God’s Amazing Peace. God Appoints Possibilities. As I leave this wayside chapel I know that the Master adores me. I carry His peace with me. And I realize that with God, all things are possible.
Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.