the Backwoods

Have you ever gone exploring, just to see what you could find? Or create an adventure of your own? It doesn’t have to be some grand adventure to the Amazon or to the bottom of the Ocean (although those would be totally awesome and if I had the resources I would jump in! Pun intended.). Sometimes it can be as simple as venturing into your grove or wooded enclosures in your area.

There are always fun things to find in hidden places, as long as a person pays attention to what is around them. At my old camp, there are acres and acres of wooded area to explore. The area has trails in throughout the trees, with slews popping up here and there is some lower areas between hills. There are also areas special to different people, unknown to others, like trees that have been climbed and berries that have been picked.

Among the many things that most campers and staff know about is the barn. It is rustic, I’m not sure exactly how old it is, but it looks like it holds many secrets and stories. For example, one summer some friends and I had church up in the loft, discussing the Bible at this stop during our horse ride. The barn also stores a few things…like the tubes used to take a ride down the tubing hill (which is ultimately a sweet tunnel carved between two hills).

So, now I’m going down memory lane just to say this: sometime a deeper look at things you are around often can yield more understanding, or a whole new understanding. Also, stepping inside the woods to see what is there will give a different viewpoint than from the outside, as well as a look at the more intimate setting for all the living creatures and other things that reside there.

Ultimately, the same is in our relationship with the Lord. Skimming over a few verses here and there, or reading others commentary on the Word may give us an outside view, a surface understanding. But the only way we can really grow to understand Him Who created us and desires to be our focus, our God, is to venture inside His Word and see Who He really is.

“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.'” -John 8:31-32

And as we venture inside His Word and seek Him, we really get to know Him. Just as walking through those woods. We could just do it for an adventure, with no purpose. But if we really start paying attention, we get to know the woods and what is inside of them. God will ultimately reveal Himself to use the more we seek Him. Most things are not revealed to us without us first seeking something. 

Here’s a passage from Psalm that really show what it looks like to seek.

“Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul observes them. The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth wide and panted, For I longed for Your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, After Your manner with those who love Your Name. Establish my footsteps in You Word, And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, That I may keep Your precepts. Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your statutes.” -Psalm 119: 129 -135

I just love that passage. It is a reminder and challenge to me to go after the Lord even more in my heart and lifestyle.

Beyond that, we must remember that to truly get to know others and grow relationships with people, we must seek them and pursue an interest in who they are. Without doing that, how can we really grow and flourish relationships, let alone demonstrate the love of Christ to them. Because we need to remember, Christ wants to know us to. And He has spend all of creation pursuing us and our trust.

So next time you see a wooded area or just want to explore, remember…if you want to know more, you must pursue. If you want to know someone, you must also pursue who they are. And if you want to grow closer to Christ, you must pursue Him.

(I think there might be some guys out there who can understand this concept more than some of us “he needs to pursue me” type of ladies. We can’t take a “sit and wait” approach to our relationship with the Lord!) 😉

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