by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Blue and I passed beneath the pine canopy. Boughs of oak limbs stretched into the arch above us, making themselves known among the evergreens.

We stopped along the edge of the country road for Blue to pursue the scent of a critter. As we paused I heard a crackling sound behind me. It seemed almost rhythmic. I turned to witness an amazing sight – hundreds of oak leaves in shades of burgundy and brown twirling and swirling to the ground. The crackling sound was heard as they bounced from limb to limb and then landed on the road below.

I can’t remember ever experiencing this before. Falling leaves. Yes. But the popping sound like a multitude of tiny hands clapping? No. To witness falling leaves accompanied by a melody of soft percussion left me speechless.

In my spirit I heard the Lord whisper, Nan, this is like the joyful sound.

I stood still and watched and listened and thought for a moment.

There’s a verse in Psalm 89 that I meditate on often because I want to understand it. This is what the Lord was referring to when He spoke to me:

“Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance” (Psalm 89:15)

The joyful sound! Quite honestly this verse is making reference to the blowing of trumpets to commemorate sacred events like the Sabbath and holy feasts. The joyful sound of the trumpets ushers the people into a time of worship. I’ve told the Lord on many occasions that I wanted to be a person who knows and recognizes the joyful sound calling me to worship Him.

And He let me do that!

Why was this moment holy? By all standards it was just a walk with my dog down a mountain road. But here’s the sweet spot: I love to pray while I walk Blue. I had been praying, asking the Lord for wisdom and direction concerning some personal decisions. Discouragement had fallen as a shadow over me and I desperately fought off feelings of despair.

Then I heard the gentle percussion of the leaves and turned to watch them dance in their spiral descent to the road. I recognized the Lord’s presence – His response to my prayers for peace. And I heard His sweet whisper.

The moment became holy as a hush fell over my spirit and God’s peace embraced me.

The moment became holy as the joyful sound of the falling leaves led me to the throne of grace where I knew I was not alone.

The moment became holy when I stood still and remembered that He alone is God and He is worthy of all praise.

I’d heard the joyful sound calling me to worship.

“Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! 
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. 
In Your name they rejoice all day long, 
and in Your righteousness they are exalted. 
For You are the glory of their strength, 
and in Your favor our strength is exalted.
For our shield belongs to the Lord, 
and our king to the Holy One of Israel.” 
~ Psalm 89:15-18
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