Where and When do you feel closest to God?

Why do I ask such a question?

It came to me after a conversation I just had with my 11 year old son. We are about to embark on a short fishing trip and as he was busily gathering everything he wanted to take, I told him that I would be happy to take him, but not to be dissappointed if I did not actually do any fishing.

He looked at me in disbelief, and ask why I would not be fishing.

My explanation to him was that rather than worrying about finding the right bait, making sure all the gear was in good shape and then be discouraged because the fish wouldn't cooperate I would rather just sit on the bank of the stream and lose myself in God's magnificent creation. I have found that if you are fortunate enough to find one, there actually are places that you cannot see or hear the effects of what man has done to God's perfect world. I would like to tell you all of just such a place that I have been.
Crucifixion painting by Archibald MacKinnonI have always held a belief in God from as early as I can remember, however I had not taken Jesus as my Personal Lord and Saviour at that time. The place I refer to is a cave on Davaar island in the bay of Campbeltown, Scotland. I had been sent to Scotland by the Navy for a 6 month tour of duty, and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my wife, who was to join me in a couple of weeks. I had been spending my off duty hours as a typical tourist, looking over the town and outlying areas. During my excursions I had seen the island in the bay, but was not overly excited by it, just a hill surrounded by water, or so I thought. Suddenly, one afternoon I had an overwhelming urge to get to that island and really didn't know why. After talking to some of the locals, I found out that at low tide you are able to walk on semi-dry land (rock bottom) all the way out to the island. Finding this out, I started out at once. It's not an easy walk but two of my friends and I made the trip. We were having a good time exploring, walking through the heather,( which was in full bloom), tripping and falling in the small, spring fed streams which the heather covers so that you don't know they are there till you're in them. To make a long story short, as we came down from the top of the island and started to walk the shoreline around the island, we came across a cave in the cliff face. This cave opens out to the Fyrth of Clyde so that once inside looking out, all you see is water. I don't mind telling you that I really do not like caves but that same compulsion that sent me to the island was drawing me inside that cave. As I stepped inside, it was like stepping into another world. It was not total darkness but a kind of twilight, and the only sound you could hear was the surf gently washing up on the rocky beach below. I could not even hear my friends just outside the cave. While in that cave an indescribable serenity set in on me, I couldn't believe how wonderful I suddenly felt. I really did not want to leave that cave just yet so I found a rather large rock and sat down. As I sat, I had the occasion to look up at the opposing wall and got the suprise of my life!. On that wall was a lifesize painting of the Crucifixion. As I sat there looking in amazement, I then realized that I had been brought to that cave for a reason..... God had brought me there to give me a quiet place to go when I could find no other. I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of love and compassion our Lord has for us as I sat quietly, not wanting to go back out into the noise and confusion of the world in which we must live, for now.
I know that this may sound like a fantasy, let me assure you it is not.

The island exists, the cave is real, the painting is there. The locals have known about it since it was painted there by Archibald MacKinnon in 1887.

Although I only made the one visit to the island I have since revisited that cave many, many times. That cave is the first place that God spoke to my heart, and I actually took the time to be still and listen. Since then, He has comforted me, admonished me, and LOVED me on countless visits to that one small cave. Please don't misunderstand, I KNOW that God is with me always, but I feel closest to Him when we sit together in that cave. I thank God for drawing me there, to touch me and set me on the pathway home to Him.

My prayer is that you all may be led to similar such places, where you can return to a quiet place and be alone with the Lord.
Davaar Island

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