Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. – Ephesians 3:17-19
(Note: our thoughts and prayers are with – and for – all of you in Texas this weekend.)
So – as I’ve intimated in a number of posts over the past few weeks – August has featured more than its fair share of challenge, stress and complexity. However, God’s amazing grace, God’s all-encompassing peace, and the encouragement that comes from being immersed in God’s good work in the first place, have more than kept us in a place of grace.
A vital component – I believe – of resting in God’s peace, is doing our part to respect the way we were designed in the first place. We must take time to deliberately place ourselves in restorative environments, and we must make the decision to be in the presence of God.
To that end, Rebekah and I always start our day together with a short devotional reading, scripture, and prayer. We do this every morning, to set what comes next in its proper context.
Additionally – and this is something I try to be proactive about as a clergy-spouse – we take time once or twice each week to be still, to immerse ourselves in restoration, and to simply be aware of the natural rhythms of rest and Sabbath that God ordained since the beginnings of creation.
To that end, this beautiful Friday morning, we did a little digging and planting in the garden. It’s a project Rebekah started with the grandchildren earlier in the week. “They’re called eclipse plants,” she told them (a tall tale made up on the fly, designed to tie the planting in with the other big event of the afternoon). “When you put these plants in the ground during an eclipse, they grown so much better.”
This morning we started in the kitchen with a reading from scripture (you can see how serene it is at the beginning of the day). Then it was cool enough to dig a few more holes and finish the “eclipse plants” project.
We’re taking a long deep breath today. Placing ourselves intentionally in a position where we can rest in God’s kind of peace. And may we all know, in the deeper places of our souls ,“how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love is…”
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.