I recently read Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery, author of the popular Anne of Green Gables book series. Whether you’ve read it or not, I want to encourage you with one of the faith lessons I discovered in it: God invites us into places of peace that we might dream dreams and see visions.
In an early scene in the book, the main character, Eric, discovers a beautiful old orchard on one of his long walks through the countryside. He’s a new teacher in the area, and he enjoys exploring all the hidden and overgrown paths.
When Eric finds the orchard, Montgomery tells us this: “The charm of the place took sudden possession of Eric as nothing had ever done before. He was not given to romantic fancies; but the orchard laid hold of him subtly and drew him to itself, and he was never to be quite his own man again. He went into it over one of the broken panels of fence, and so, unknowing, went forward to meet all that life held for him.” (Chapter 5)
Montgomery’s descriptions bring the orchard alive before our eyes. It’s filled with blossoms, waving grasses, and intoxicating fragrances . . . and the sound of ethereal music. The music, Eric later discovers, comes from a violin played by a young woman named Kilmeny, who will later become his wife.
Eric explores the orchard and finds it “a veritable ‘haunt of ancient peace.’” He sits down there and takes in every detail of the orchard with delighted eyes. He says:
“I could fall asleep here, dream dreams and see visions.”
Upon discovering the orchard, Eric knows he’s found something important. Though he’s “walked briskly along” on his long walk thus far that evening, he slows down when he comes to the orchard. Its beauty arrests him, and he stops. He senses that the ancient orchard is somehow part of his destiny.
In our lives, we come upon ancient orchards and places of peace that God wants us to enter and enjoy. Though we might normally walk briskly past, there are times when we find ourselves arrested by something – something that tells us we need to stop. As we enter into that place of peace, we find a quiet place where we can dream dreams and see visions.
In places of peace, God gives our hearts space to flourish and grow.
In my own faith journey, the beauty of who Jesus is made me stop in my tracks many times over the years, even before I knew him personally. There was something about “this Jesus” that made my heart stop and wonder. I wanted to know him more. I felt his kindness and goodness. I knew he was LOVE incarnate. After I came to know him as my personal Lord and Savior, I entered into his peace and found all that life with him held for me.
Now, as I walk hand-in-hand with Jesus, he lovingly leads me to quiet, withdrawn places from time-time. He draws me to places of stillness and peace. He opens up space for rest. He calls me to set things down and come into the ancient orchard of his peace. He allows me to see the beauty around me. He brings me into a place where I dream dreams with him and see visions. He refreshes my soul.
Are you in need of quiet time away, alone with Jesus? Are you seeking a place of peace, new vision, or fresh anointing?
May this be an encouragement and reminder to you. You and I must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in all that we do, on every path we walk.
We must allow God to set our course and our pace.
When he says “come away,” whether it’s for a few minutes of quiet prayer, a long walk, an hour spent on a bench or in a cozy spot, or a day or week away from your regular duties, it’s important to listen.
God knows what you need and wants to give you refreshment for your soul. When we enter into places of peace, he allows us to dream dreams and see visions. We receive God’s rest – and we step forward into all that he has for us.
“Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31
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