Resting in Pleasant Places
By Lauren Hasson
Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance.
You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion.
I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.[e]
6 Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places.
I’m overwhelmed by the privileges
that come with following you,
for you have given me the best!
Psalm 16: 5,6
It all started with a request.
“Mom, I would just love to be with my entire family before I start my job in June. Wouldn’t it be great to have your toes in the sand, relaxing, playing with Elias? Picture it!”
Her words were intoxicating. How could we make this happen with people living in Boston, San Francisco, Sunnyvale? Is there a location close enough for Sophia in Boston and for our grandbaby to make his maiden voyage?
Looking across the map and praying hard, my finger found its way to Mexico. Next stop, the internet to see if there were any homes large enough for this great brood of people. Let’s face it, I couldn’t resist this seemingly innocent request of my graduate.... to be with her family in some fun and relaxing place.
A miraculous four weeks later....
Blue green water vanishes on a perfect edge. Lush green trees are sandwiched between the pool and the rolling waves of the ocean lapping up on the shore. Sitting under the large palapa in Punta Mita, I watch my children playing volleyball in front of me. There’s a terrific breeze that blows all day long keeping us refreshed from the intense sun.
Take an early morning walk? Jump on beach cruisers and navigate between smooth asphalt and stretches of inlaid rock on the road that challenge your balance? Choices are demanding.... sit on a hammock, visit with the grand baby, read a great book or sit in the pool. As I’m writing an errant volleyball just whizzed past my head!
As everything unwinds into a snail’s pace I find myself appreciating small details. Vines intertwining with the trees, the odd shape and prickles of a breadfruit, cascades of deep magenta bougainvillea, the beautiful fitting of the thatched roof of the palapa. Unique Mexican architecture, the use of small stones imbedded in concrete, rich woods indigenous to the region, my eye finds these details and stops to admire them. It is remarkable what opens creatively in my mind and my heart in this span of deep rest. Immense appreciation washes over me as my senses are stirred by sites, smells and tastes of new cuisine.
Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places.
How do I keep this when I return home? Can I recreate this type of space?
“Daughters, I am calling you to become unplugged....
Step away. I am creating space for you, right where you are. I am growing room for you, first from within, then from without. The enemy always attempts to steal this place that I have for you.
Can you see me abiding in you? You are my home. You are the place that I love to live, my joy of living fully within you. The enemy longs to destroy this place that I’ve made for the two of us. He gave it up long ago. I bought it back at a great price and it cannot be stolen.
Sometimes our tender union is interrupted by the busyness and distractions of life.
As you read this, I am speaking gently like an ocean breeze to your spirit. I am calming your body, breathing peace into every cell. I am releasing what is unnecessary from your mind. I am laughing with you and bringing ease to your heart. Do you feel the joy filling you? I have answers that are simple and clear. I am showing you a new way to answer the demands. Throw them on me. Yes, right now.... throw them all on me and watch me move on your behalf.
My daughter, once I release my love into your soul, I am able to create greater space around you. You see yourself transforming all situations around you. We are moving together to realign others that are feeling frustrated, dejected, oppressed. You step into the room, and my love pours out from you. Our joy is released into the atmosphere. As you allow yourself these mini vacations of the soul, you are able to see me moving on your behalf.
I am in the great, I am in the small. As your trust in me increases, I take control of your destiny and its unfolding with perfect timing. Thank you for releasing the great and small into my hands. I love our journey together.
I am crazy about you....
Your friend and lover, Jesus.”
If my heart was stirred by the request of my daughter, how much more do we stir His heart with our desires, requests, plans and needs? Paradise is waiting on the other side of your ask.