DRAW NEAR: "Let us draw near to God…" Heb 10:22 NIV. For me, each trip to Killarney is a journey that draws me nearer to God. This was from a canoeing trip on Lake George. To be in the wilderness, just as He created it, fills me with awe and amazement. His Presence is so tangible there! But it is not because He is more present there - it is because my focus is not distracted. I go with the clear objective of drawing nearer to God. This scripture and painting is to remind me of the gift of drawing near to God wherever I am. The clear focus that I have on God in the wilderness can be just as intentional and powerful in the midst of a busy day - it is just a matter of concentration and seeking. For He is always with us whether we choose to recognize Him or not.
STARRY SKY: "Praise Him, sun and moon, praise Him, all you shining stars!" Ps 143:3 NIV; "They lifted up their voice to God with one accord" Acts 4:24 NIV. We all agreed that the highlight of the backpacking trip was when we sang praise songs in the dark, lying on the rocks under the stars. As God's "dimmer switch" caused more and more stars to appear, we were blessed even further by seeing shooting stars! I knew I wanted to record that moment in a painting, shooting star and all, even as we were experiencing it. As I looked through my "scripture sightings" (collection of scriptures I have gathered or been given as requests to do), these two were just perfect for this, our "best Killarney Moment". How like God not only to allow the moment to be captured in painting, but also in scripture!
ONE DAY:"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere…" Ps 84:10 NIV. This was the site of one of our tents - literally at the water's edge of the lake. In the stillness of the daylight the mirror image of the lake was amazing. As we gazed out over this spectacular scene, we literally breathed in His majesty, surrounded by Him, living in His courts for this time. Better Is One Day in His Courts became my favorite praise song that we sang over the lake, while hiking and backpacking, and while driving back home. Whenever I hear or sing this song, I remember what it was like to actually be in His courts –enveloped by His peace, calm and replenishment. Makes me sigh with contentment even now! This is what He has for us no matter where we are, but life can distract us from this. I wanted to paint a reminder of what it was like, so I could call on that memory no matter where I was, at any time.
BE STILL, QUIET:"Be still and know that I am God" Ps 46:10; Other text: "Let Him replenish you in the whisper quiet of His creation". Canoeing has the quality of being whisper quiet as you glide along the water. Many times we would stop paddling, listen to the utter quiet and stillness, gaze at His creation and soak in His peace. The fall colors were spectacular and served to increase our awe of His works. We quoted this scripture often as we canoed, and at almost every stop for devotions along the way. He indeed built us up and replenished us through His creation and His Word that day!