My Pavilion.....Crawdad Hole!
Have you ever felt the Lord knocking on your heart to spend time with you and you willingly do spend time with Him but find there is something missing...it's not enough? He's drawing you to a 'secret place' in Him. A place hidden away with Him. The Psalmist in 27:5 said:
"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock."
My journey with the Lord at this point in my walk has brought me to a farm house in the middle of farm country in Illinois. On all sides of the house are nothing but acres and acres of farm land that grow corn and soy beans and on the other side of the fields are woods with deer, rabbits, squirrels, streams and.....well just nature!
God's provisions are sometimes not what we expect, but He does supply! (Faithful...thank You Jesus!)
My circumstances didnít make sense to me at first. I'm asking the Lord..."Why?" And maybe you can relate. You donít understand why you go through some of the things that you do.
Well let me give you a clue Itís found in 2Cor 1:3-7
Now about my "pavilion!" Most of you are familiar with the wonderful 27th Psalms
"The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?"
"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple!"
(one of my favorite verses)
And then you come to verse 5...."he shall hide me in his pavilion."
Okay what is a pavilion? Sounds like a lovely place to be....pavilion!
Let's go to the American Heritage Dictionary !
1. An ornate tent. 2a. A light, sometimes ornamental roofed structure, used for amusement or shelter, as at parks or fairs: a picnic pavilion. b. A usually temporary structure erected at a fair or show for use by an exhibitor.
Here are some moderate examples of a 'pavilion'.
Nice! Who couldn't just sit under this and commune with your Creator?
Well this is not the place that I was led to! I have wandered off the beaten path and into the wilderness of my wilderness! I found a place back in the woods that has a stream/brook/creek whatever you might call it! It's not one of those beautiful streams you see in magazines or on TV or in a Thomas Kincaid pictures!
My pavilion is a nice little stream with trees that have fallen in the water. People have thrown garbage in it over the years. (not so now...but the remains are still noticeable!) The water is clear in most places and you can see the bottom of the stream with the rocks and lots of broken glass. My friend (Colleen) and I walked the creek banks one day exploring and picking up the broken glass. We were also looking at all the rocks of different sizes and shapes and of course putting the pretty and unusual ones in our pockets. I told Colleen that this kinda reminded me of Israel and all the rocks and how we brought back suitcases full of rocks (they're free!) from the Holy Land!
The Holy Land is riddled with rocks. In fact the rabbis tell the story of how when God was creating the earth, he passed out armloads of rocks to the angels to scatter around the world. One angel took off west and began sprinkling the rocks across the countryside. However the other angel is said to have tripped and dropped all of his rocks on Israel.
My pavilion, the place that the Lord has given me, is what most people would call a crawdad, crayfish, a mudbug HOLE!!! That's about the only thing I have seen in the creek besides the rocks.
Now on my creek bank I have gathered flat rocks and placed them on the side of the banks so I can sit and meditate and just wait on the Lord. I hadn't paid much attention to what I have been doing until I started writing this all down. I'm sitting on my flat rock, on the side of the creek banks looking down into the water.
The last part of Psalm 27 verse 5 says: "he shall set me up upon a rock."
Oh, my could I run with that...my Rock! Oh my!
I was sitting on my rock and looking into the water and I noticed something moving, so I got up and walked to the edge of the water. I placed my head and hands on this tree that had fallen in the water, which was right in front of my rock/sitting place...
(oh yeah! The tree in the water...my, my!
The Lord has given me some wonderful visual aids...don't you think?)
and as I looked down into the water I saw this crayfish just moving along with the flow of the water. I noticed as the crayfish climbed over rocks and pebbles he would get lifted up and turned over on his back from the force of the water.
Of course, the crayfish righted himself and just went on about his business, with the flow of the water. I'm asking the Lord, "Okay, my Lord, what is it that you want me to see in this?" And you know the Lord will show us all kind of wonderful things in small and big things around us, if we are willing to stop and listen.
Crayfish, common in streams and lakes, often conceal themselves under rocks or logs. Most crayfish live short lives, usually less than two years. General movement is always a slow walk, but if startled, crayfish use rapid flips of their tail to swim backwards and escape. Crayfish also own one pair of claw bearing appendages, which it extends in front of its body while moving. Those strong pinchers are specialized for cutting, tearing, capturing food, attack, and defense. A pinch can hurt!
What I noticed about this crayfish as it 'rights' itself in the water is that it doesn't seem to be any less rattled by the churning of the water. It 'rights' itself and moves on slowly as if nothing happened... just moseying along!
Can we learn anything from this odd looking creature? Pinchers, moves slow, going with the flow, backward motion, mudhole, outer shell...Psalm 119: 130
"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."
"But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another."
This ought not to be found among 'Christians.' (We expect it of the world...not born again Christians!) People hear rumors and form conclusions from them. Then they will verbally, or in print, "tear to ribbons" a brother/sister because of the "hearsay."
If a brother/sister is in error (admitting to a conviction or practice which we believe is incorrect) then pray or teach him/her. Can we do this without name-calling, backbiting, ripping and tearing one another?
1 John 4:21
"And this commandment have we from Him,
That he who loveth God love his brother also."
Moves slow...Heb 5:11
"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!"
A baby doesn't know right from wrong. When we grow up, we learn by practice and mistakes what is right and what is wrong. Children will fight and scream over a toy or wanting things their way. We teach them, train them up, show them the way to grow and to help others to grow. but, we have raised 'spiritually retarded/slow babies' who are content with being spoon fed...still on the milk!
"You ought to be teaching the Scriptures to others." But, instead, you're still a baby.
Going with the flow...2 Tim 4:3-4
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
(Feel Good Messages!)
People want to hear messages that make them feel good. User-friendly messages and churches that tell them they're okay right where they're at. Lots of people don't want to be challenged to grow or convicted in their hearts, they just want to go with the flow of the teachings of the day. This will cause many to no longer stand for sound Bible teaching. More and more people are turning away their ears from the truth being caught up in the flow!
Jesus bought us with His own blood, and we are not our own. (1Cor 6:20) God expects us to surrender our lives to Him completely; to live not for our own pleasure, but to walk in holiness, and to live in righteousness.
This is not a message that's very popular in many churches today. It's not user-friendly, it's not seeker-sensitive. Too convicting!
But it is the truth!
Backward motion...Jeremiah 7:24
"But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward."
It is a walk not a standstill or a reverse. It's not how close can I get to the world and still serve God. Some see what they can get away with. That is a dangerous place to be. Our goal should be how close we can draw to God and how far
away we can flee from sin.
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."
"I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflows me."
Have you ever felt like that? Like you're drowning in a sea of troubles. Sinking deeper and deeper into the mud! You've fallen and you canít get up. Someone has well said that when life knocks you to your knees, you're in a position to pray.
Thank God for the 'Rock!'
"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."
Outer shell...2 Corinthians 4:16
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."
Remember the old Timex commercial..."It takes a licking, but keeps on ticking!"
On the outside, we are suffering and taking a beating. But on the inside, God is blessing and renewing us!
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
I started with Psalm 27... I will finish with the last two verses, 13 and 14
"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness
of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord."
Sha'aloo shalom Yerushalayim
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem! (Psalm 122:6)....
In His service, bj