Kathryn Ritchie, who is presently interning with 24-7 Prayer Scotland, shares about a recent experience of God meeting her in His grace.
Photo creds: Ciara Menzies Photography
I have just returned from being on placement for my university postgrad, which meant leaving my city of Edinburgh and returning to my family home in the countryside of Perthshire for three weeks. This changed basically everything in my routine and lifestyle. Rather than working at my own pace, I was working 9-5. Rather than doing what I know, I was pushed out of my comfort zone – or something more akin to teaching a child to swim by chucking them in at the deep end, hoping they learn fast!
But more importantly, I suddenly found myself without the time for my usual morning devotion and worship, as I was rising at 6.30am to drive to wherever I was working that day. Now I do realise that 6.30am is a perfectly normal time for many people to travel to work. But for me, I was used to jumping on a bus to university at 9am and then living literally across the road from where I work with 24-7 Prayer. So this was a massive difference to my lifestyle, my routine.
So what did I do? Intentionally, not much. But God did everything.
It turned out that the time I was driving was exactly the time that the sun was rising over the Perthshire hills and I had a front row view. The road I took would wind and bend and after every turn my view of the sunrise only got better.
On one day in particular, low-lying fog weaved in and out of the frost covered trees. Behind the treeline silhouettes of the rolling hills spanned the horizon with the sun just about to burst over the tops. The sky was one step ahead of the sun displaying a blur of the deepest pinks, purples and oranges.
There I sat, trying to drive in a straight line while suddenly overwhelmed by the beauty around me, blinking back tears that, if allowed to flow freely, would only put me and the car I’d borrowed into a hedge!
As I drove on I asked myself, “What was that about?” I had lived in the area for 14 years before moving away and I had driven that route hundreds of times! It slowly dawned on me that it was the presence of God in the beauty of the sunrise that I was responding to.
Instead of my usual sense of guilt due to rushing out the door without yet saying hello to God, God met me in grace. It was like He was waking me up (just as I was literally waking up after my first cup of tea of the day), reminding me that He was with me, that He knew my situation and my busyness, and yet He still wanted to simply spend time with me.
In those morning drives God met me in a different way. It wasn’t about my own ‘doings’ or my prayer lists but rather it was about just being. It was exactly what I needed and God knew that. His grace met me in the disruption of my routine.
“Be still and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10
This verse etched itself into my days. I realised that I so often rush through life too fast, too distracted, too in my own world to notice His. But when I did stop, when I took notice of the fog, the hills and the sunrise, His beauty and grace were all too clear.
My challenge to you today is – will you allow God to disrupt your routine and allow room for His grace?
Kathryn, aside from interning with 24-7 Prayer, is a postgrad student at Napier University, studying Careers Guidance. Having spent 4 summers serving with 24-7 Prayer Ibiza, Kathryn loves being part of the 24-7 Prayer movement and has a deep passion for God and people and this beautiful nation of Scotland that is her home.