It’s been quite some time since I have written on here. I apologize for the silence, but it has been a busy few months. It’s been two and a half months since I moved overseas and began a new life in Prague, Czech Republic as a missionary.
On this beautiful day, after completing a language test I have been studying for all week, I knew I needed to get outside. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and it is 19 degrees Celsius. I decided it was time to do some more exploring in my neighbourhood.
In my attempt to find a place known as the Prosek Rocks (my neighbourhood is called Prosek), which I did find, I also found a wonderful walking trail that is engulfed in trees and nature, that feels like a little peace of heaven in the middle of a busy, metropolitan city.
Those who know me well know how much I love nature. It’s where I feel closest to God. Going for a walk on a trail or in a park energizes me, refreshes me, and brings me a sense of peace. I enjoy my solitude and love having quiet time surrounded by creation.
Usually when I walk alone, I like to listen to music, but after I left my home today I realized I had forgotten my headphones. I like having music on walks because it blocks out all the other noise and helps me relax. I was disappointed I couldn’t enjoy it on my walk today, especially as I headed down a busy street toward the trail I would soon discover.
As I was walking on the path, surrounded by trees that arched over my head like a bridge, I began to notice the sound of the birds chirping around me. Then I tuned in to the sound of the leaves blowing in the wind. I realized I was not without music. God was providing the music of nature to accompany me on my walk.
And as I walked, I could feel stress sliding right out of my body.
The last couple of months have been amazing, but also challenging in ways I didn’t imagine. I’m in a place where I don’t know all the rules and norms of society. I can’t understand 99% of what is being said around me. I can’t read the majority of the signs or understand directions in a city where streets are not labelled on every corner or intersection.
I also can’t understand the song of the birds, but I can recognize it’s beauty.
You don’t always have to understand something to appreciate it. I may not understand what someone next to me on the metro is saying, but I can respect and appreciate the fact that they offer their seat to an elderly person or pregnant woman.
I don’t have to know or understand every detail of this country’s culture and history to recognize the pride, beauty, strength and courage in the people of Czech.
It comes down to trust.
Trust is not something that comes easily to me. It takes time for me to completely trust people and be vulnerable with them. That has been one of my biggest struggles since arriving here – those that I have built deep, trusting relationships with are thousands of miles away. I want to create relationships like that here, but it takes time.
So what do I do on a bad day when I need a shoulder to cry on?
I trust God. I turn to Him.
I have experienced the excitement of meeting new people and making friends in my new home. But there have been moments when I’ve missed my friends and family back in Canada so much that it physically hurts. So what do I do?
I trust God.
I trust that He brought me here because this is where I am supposed to be. I trust that He has a purpose for my life here. I trust that He is going to provide those deep relationships I am desiring.
And it’s on days that I go for walks and experience nature that I am reminded that He has a plan for each of us. Just as He planned every piece of Creation, He has an intricate plan for each and every one of His children.
I have heard people say that they like being in nature because it’s getting away from everything and enjoying “the simple things”. But if you pay attention to anything in nature, you quickly realize there is nothing simple about it. From the bark of a tree, to the shape and size of a leaf, to the petals of a flower, the detail and beauty of each little thing is exquisite.
And if God put that much detail into a tiny flower petal or blade of glass, think about the incredible detail He has put into the plan for each of our lives. He loves us so much that He knows the number of hairs on our heads. He sees every second of our lives, and He yearns for us to know Him.
And that is exactly why I am here in the Czech Republic.
It’s unacceptable to me that someone could see the detail in the bark of a tree and not know the love and care that God put into creating it.
It’s heartbreaking that people do not know the magnificent and unfathomable love that God put into creating them, and continues to pour out to them every single day.
The beauty and peace of nature is an example of the beauty and peace of God and His unlimited love.
And it is a reminder to all of us who follow Him, that we must share His love.
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