by Macy Johnson
“The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the coneys (rock badgers).”
(Psalm 104:18 NIV)
There is a large island nestled close to the dam in Alabama’s Lake Martin. When the lake was formed in the 1920’s goats were stranded on the island, so the locals named it “Goat Island.” You can cruise around the island in a boat or on a jet ski and look up its steep, rocky landscape in search of goats. Some vacationers pull their boats up on the island’s sandy shores and pitch a tent for a holiday weekend or afternoon picnic. There are no bridges to Goat Island, no ways for its original inhabitants to escape.
“Tree Island” lies a few miles across the main body of Lake Martin. It was named for the lone tree that stands in the middle of a tiny patch of land. When the lake’s dam is opened and water levels lowered, the sandy island grows in size. When the water level is high, especially after a summer storm, one can see only the top branches of the tree. It is a favorite spot for picnics and lounging around on anchored watercraft. Small children like to romp and play in the shallow waters encircling the tree.
Islands are places of refuge as they rise up in a body of water. As a traveling student or auditor, I often felt like a remote island, separated from family and friends, in a foreign country, city, or state. Yet I was never alone. God tells us He is always with us. I always felt His presence. He set me in seclusion to train me to serve in new situations, and grow outside familiar settings in a haven of rest and retreat.
I will draw nearer to God in islandic times of aloneness. I hope you will, too!