Today's daily devotion

Prayer Hill

… then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth …—ISAIAH 58:14 [RSV]

I hurried out of the house for a walk. I needed to clear my head; the day’s pressures seemed impossible. I followed a trail on our farm leading to the top of a grass-covered hill. There, I plunked down on the grass in a spot overlooking our farmyard.

I tried to pray, but instead found myself rehashing my emotional struggles. My husband, John, and I cared for my mother in her farm home. Ministrokes had made some of her behaviors hard to deal with, and I struggled to accept them.

Besides caring for my mother, I also shouldered some of the economic pressures of our farm. My work as a freelance writer filled in the financial gaps. We couldn’t afford for me to get sidelined by an emotional roller coaster of feelings. Yet I sometimes did. I often felt squeezed breathless by competing pressures.

Sitting on the hill, I tried again to pray. Still, the words wouldn’t come. But then a gentle breeze sprang up and caressed my face. The knot in my stomach let go. I saw that simply coming to a quiet place away from the turmoil—seeking peace— was a prayer in itself. I began to feel my spirit renewed, like I could go on. I made those walks to my Prayer Hill a daily habit. 

Lord, no matter where life leads me, help me always to find those peaceful places where I can more fully sense your lifegiving presence.

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