High on a hill he stands, king over his kingdom—or so he thinks. His head is erect. His strong horns curve backwards. His tan coat reflects the yellowing afternoon sunlight. He snorts, his shaggy beard quivering. She comes, small of frame with slate grey hair, wearing navy pants and a pink shirt. Swishing through grasses damp from rain she walks, her voice carrying through the air in its sing-song way. Two heads pop up from the grass below, their arching necks lengthening and orange beaks flashing as they turn. A handful of chickens—orbs of white, red and gold—emerge from bowing bracken ferns and scurry up the slope alonside the geese.
Her words flow melodically in an unfamiliar tongue, the same phrase—something akin to, ‘Come here,’ perhaps—being used over and over. Affection rings in her tone. These are her children, the delight of her heart. With rocking gait, she leads them towards their coop, offering food and shelter, comfort and safety. Her words flow like a stream over pebbles until at last the chickens answer with their rhythmic cluck-clucks and monologue turns to conversation—back and forth, her and them. A wayward goose tries to push past and the woman’s voice becomes stern, her words sharp. She waves her arms at the honking bird, quickly bringing her family into order.
Many times, when I hear this ritual begin, I stop whatever I’m doing and watch through our window. A warm sense of delight spreads through me and I can’t help but smile. Though I can’t decipher the words of either woman or creature, their relationship is clear and their dynamics often entertaining.
On a recent afternoon when my heart was heavy, I pulled out my journal and began listing all the reasons I had to give thanks. The woman came to mind and as I pictured her there on the hill, I felt a sudden surge of joy in my spirit as God breathed these words:
That’s like Me with you.
Of course. No wonder it brought me such pleasure.
Like this woman, our God walked in the garden with His beloved ones at the end of the day, right from the beginning of creation (Gen 3:8-9). Always, this has been His heart—intimate connection, reflection on the day, a passing on of wisdom.
Now, through Christ, all of us are invited into that intimacy.
Hear Me singing over you?
Come and be nourished. Come and learn from Me.
Receive My discipline, for I see you and I know what you need.
And I will give you rest.
He’s calling us—not only to come to Him at the end of the day but to walk with Him all day every day. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus made the way for us to be in constant relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit.
What is our response to such an offer?
Are we like the goose—certain we know better and determined to do life our own way?
We may already belong to Jesus but we’re not always willing to follow His directions. We’re choosey about what we entrust to Him, unwilling to surrender our whole lives to His loving rule.
Are we eager to embrace the rich, full relationship He offers—to bask in His love, find refuge and rest in His presence, to feed on His word, converse with Him and learn from His wisdom?
Are we willing to run to Him and say,
Lord, it’s You I want—nothing else.
Here’s my life.
Make it what You want.
Thank You for Your counsel, Your provision, Your discipline and Your power?
If you’re anything like me, your response to these questions varies from day to day. I’m challenged as I write them. Emotions and circumstances often cloud our view and make us close our hearts, clutching at control. That’s why it’s so crucial for us to fix our gaze on the truth and listen for His song—every day, every moment. Only when we see Jesus for who He really is—the one who surrendered completely to the Father’s plan—are we able to lay everything at His beautiful, pierced feet.
With surrender comes life in all its fullness—the life we were created for—unfolding step by step as we walk with Him.
‘Why spend money on what is not bread,
And your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me and eat what is good,
And your soul will delight in the richest of fare.’