Most anyone who knows me knows I am not a “nature girl.” Sometimes I feel like I should be on an episode of Monk, with a dustpan and broom, sweeping all the dirty nature stuff into a neat little pile, contained and separated from me. I mean, I love vast landscape views, breathtaking mountaintops, and serene bodies of water. All of that is beautiful to look at, but I am not the girl to go tromping through tall weeds, swimming in waters I can’t see through to the bottom, or getting too close to the edge of a cliffside. There was even a little snake in our backyard last week, and I’ve yet to allow my two year old play in the backyard since the discovery of the slithering serpent.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine contacted me, saying she felt like God wanted her to watch my girls one morning, so I could go to her favorite spot at a local park and have some quiet time. I LOVED the idea of having quiet time, knowing my girls would have fun and be cared for at this friend’s house, but I questioned whether I should go to her suggested spot. We scheduled a day for this plan and I pressed into God, asking (more like complaining) about going to this park after I dropped off the girls. Texas heat is anything but enjoyable to me and rain was in the forecast for later that week, so it was rather muggy outside. Sticky, sweaty, hotness did not sound appealing, but God wanted me to meet Him there. I felt in my heart He was orchestrating an out of the ordinary appointment with me, because He had something special to show me.
As I followed a simple, sidewalk trail through some trees, ahead I saw a pond my friend described to me. I left the sidewalk and crunched across the tall, itchy grass. I found a giant tree and sat down beneath its large, shading branches and asked God to speak to my heart.
Here I am, God. Out in nature. Outside in the hot, humid nature. I can hear bugs zooming past my ears and I’m starting to sweat… just for you, Lord. So, will you tell me why you asked me to meet you here?
Okay, so I probably sounded a little more whiny than heartfelt, but I was truly sincere in my desire to know why he wanted me outside, at this park, at this time, under these conditions. I tried listening to a worship song on my phone, but the hum of a lawn crew in the distance drowned out the maximum volume. Distracted, I stared across the yellow grass at the fountain spraying from the middle of the pond. There were dragonflies, very large dragonflies, everywhere, often flying too close to me for my comfort. I was growing despondent, and sweat beads aligned with my hairline.
Lord, it is so difficult for me to focus on you when I am outside, hot, and distracted by rattling in the bushes and bugs crawling around my legs. And what is with all of these dragonflies?! They are creeping me out.
There was a picnic table close by the sidewalk I had ventured from, so I left sitting on nature and plopped my sweaty self at that table. I was still waiting to hear God’s voice and began to doubt if He really had something special in mind for me that morning, after all. Under my breath I semi sarcastically requested a slight breeze, just to ease the heat and humidity a little. I kid you not, within the next 60 seconds plump gray clouds rolled in out of nowhere, the sky grew overcast, the temperature dropped about 10 degrees, and a light breeze whispered across my skin. I felt like I was watching a fast forward clip of a weather pattern change, and it wasn’t supposed to rain for another day or more! Finally, I heard Him speak.
I can do better than a breeze for you, my girl. I can change the entire forecast of the day just for you. I want you to know me, see my nature, among the nature I created.
Romanced, overwhelmed, and a little relieved, too, I peered across at the dragonflies hovering over the pond’s surface. I could see their brilliant colors shining from my seat. A glimpse of iridescent pink here. A glimmer of shimmering green there. Shades of purple and blue. From where I was sitting I could appreciatively absorb the beauty of this large, flying bug, and I felt an stirring to know more. I opened the internet on my phone and began reading about dragonflies, when He whispered to me again.
I want you to be like a dragonfly.
Dragonflies stay close to the water their whole lives. Water is their source of life. They are shiny, brilliant colors, because they spend their entire lives hovering over the water, reflecting and refracting the light that hits the surface. They fly closely to the ground (which is why they zoom and buzz no higher than your ears) most of the time, because they are so light, they can be easily swept away by even the slightest breeze.
God had called me out into His nature to show me another side of His likeness. His creation and beauty is all around us. This earth is filled with wonders and creatures reflecting His glory and magnificence. There are beautiful lessons to be learned, even in the uncomfortable situations of life that seem to be annoying, like buzzing bugs and hot weather.
If I continue doing what I had just done, stepping away from the busyness of life, for even a moment, He will always show up. He has called me to be his dragonfly, to stay near to him, drawing from his spirit as my source for life. For when I am close to him, absorbing his light, allowing him to satisfy and speak to my heart and life, I will beautifully reflect and refract his light to others around me. I have been tossed by the wind and world when I flew too far from his protection. I have learned when I’m in his presence I am safe. In his warm embrace I find protection and love. Even amidst discomfort I can be still and trust him to show up and speak to my heart and into my life, teaching me of plans, dreams, and love for me I had yet discovered. I can even be a little bit of a nature girl — even if that’s just sitting in a park, staring at dragonflies from afar.
Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.
Jeremiah 33:3 (MSG)
Written by Jacqueline Fox