Recently I had the great pleasure of visiting the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It offers thousands of acres of lush landscaping, an incredible variety of wild animals and the most beautiful birds and ducks I have ever seen. Had they not spent a boat load of money advertising themselves, few would know that tucked into the back hills of San Diego County is this amazing respite from the rat race of city living. What a treasure! I’m not sure if I was on the path through the World Gardens, or perhaps it was Condor Ridge, but I know I was facing east and the vast landscape scattered with mountain peaks held me captive for longer than I had anticipated. I’m not even sure what I was thinking about but I knew that it was something that I wanted to remember.
The following morning, I found myself buckled into the front seat of my old, trustworthy 2001 Buick Park Avenue. I hadn’t even pulled out of the driveway yet and the burdens of life were so overwhelming to me I could barely breathe. Do you ever feel that way? Oh, Friend, I bet I know the answer to that – an emphatic yes. I was blessed to respond to the urge to call my parents for prayer and encouragement and as usual, was blessed to receive it. Off I went into my day with a “purpose driven life”. I’d love to say that all was well after that conversation and prayer time, but it wasn’t. That heavy weight was my companion all through the following three days.
And then came Sunday morning.
I walked out to the balcony, looked out into the canyon, saw a valley filled with fog and way out there in the northern distance, the mountain peaks of San Diego County. All the sudden the vast landscape of the Safari Park popped into my mind and everything started to come together for me. It all began to make sense. Interesting how things like that happen.
Years ago, I read a devotional from the late, great J. Sidlow Baxter. He calls his reader to “climb high”. Immediately I realized that I had been spending too much time at sea level – on my knees with my face into the grains of sand, so to speak. I was completely focused on the details of my life. I stood on the balcony’s edge and let the tears fall. I looked up to the sky and knew – He sees me, He knows me, He loves me. He meets me where I am and most definitely at sea level. Get up Diane and start to climb. And so, I followed His lead and He took me to His Word. I was ready to go up to the mountain. It was there I opened the Book of Habakkuk, an old prophet who lived around 600 B.C. His world and country were in deep trouble. But listen to how he finishes his short, three-chapter book – with a prayer: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s, He makes me tread on my high places.”
I recalled the little phone conversation with my parents in the driveway that bleak, Thursday morning. Dad reminded me that my Father in heaven had prepared for me “blessings in eternity past, that were established for me every single day of my life.” I guess if I get up off the sea level floor and get my eyes off the details and into the bigger picture – it is there I’ll find my blessings and it is there I’ll claim my strength. “God, the Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s. He makes me tread on my high places.” God gives me a bigger view.
“I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” My biggest problem has been solved. Jesus has saved me. And if He has done that, and He has, then what makes me think He won’t take care of everything else? Everything else is just grains of sand. I choose the bigger view today. One day at a time.