There is an ancient Celtic saying that beautifully introduces this terminology of thin places. “Heaven and earth are only three feet apart but in thin places that distance is even shorter.”
This expression and concept has origins in Celtic Christian religion in general probably dating back to the fifth century A.D. But it seems that the Irish in particular most notably have spoken of thin places—surreal physical spaces where heaven and earth seem to touch—times when the distance between you and God has narrowed to the point where you feel you could reach out and touch His Face. No static, no white noise, filled with awe at the feel of Him, trembling with excitement to be allowed into His auspicious Presence. The energy emanating from the experience is electric, sacred. The eternal world is closer than the physical world. It is a place where the boundary of heaven and earth is especially thin fostering intimacy with God; a place where the Almighty calls you to Him in a breathtaking manner.
If you have experienced this connection you will never forget it. And if you have been privileged to experience it more than once you are indeed blessed. It is indicative of a person who has truly offered God their heart and has allowed God to give them a heart to know Him. (Jeremiah 24:7)
I have been rewarded by the heavenly Father to be drawn into a thin place on occasion and more than once it has involved humming birds. I had just such a happening—an amazing experience just the other morning. I was standing on my patio meditating and praying. There is a tree overhanging the area that Humming Birds enjoy visiting. So it was not a surprise when one appeared. Now If you are familiar with these twitchy feathered beings you know they are continuously in motion. But instead of flitting from bloom to bloom, as is normal, it landed on a branch and just sat there. Never did it gather nectar—it just sat quietly. This beautiful creature sat motionless with its little piercing eyes looking directly at me for over 10 minutes while I spoke to God and meditated on His nearness to me at that moment. (I was aware of the time because I had glanced at the clock prior to going outside and checked it again when I went back in.) Its only movement was twice spreading its wings. Cars were coming and going to and from the nearby garage; people were walking just a few feet away and there were numerous neighborhood noises but my small friend was undaunted in his mission. I knew beyond a doubt that God was using one of His creatures to commune with me. And with Jacob I could say, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it..” Genesis 28:16 (NIV)
If from this week forward you hold these two following passages close in your soul, you will never miss the Lord when He shows up—you will always recognize the thin places.
Hosea 6: 2 “…He will restore us that we may live in His presence…” (NIV)
1 Chronicles 16:11 “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” (ESV)
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