When I think of the word “join” I think of the word “embrace”.
Embrace is kind of my word right now that God is sinking into my brain.
I’m studying the book of Ecclesiastes with my church this Fall and while there are many aspects of this study that have just been so good for my heart, the idea of seasons is rich in my heart and mind right now.
Everyone knows the passage in Ecclesiastes talking about “a time for this and a time for that”.
The author of our study book calls these “disquieting and delightful” times.
What was most humbling for me was the idea that we can become so caught up in one of these that we don’t embrace the other.
I’ve been praying for months that the Lord would bring a tenderness into me. But in that I long for him to release the constant sorrow I feel like I wear too. God truly convicted me today that I tend to embrace so easily to disquiet that happens in my life and rarely ever embrace the delightful. And we are meant to not be surprised by either, but also not to ignore either.
We are meant to embrace the tension of both and the embrace both rather than resist them. True tenderness cannot come as long as I only embrace the disquiet. If I’m always ready for the hard and surprised by the good or easy, then I’m never out of the tension. When I believe that God is using the hard as punishment and the good as a reward I am so easily led to judge self-righteously or covet.
I need to be open and willing to embrace fully the joyful – delightful times as much as sink into the hard times. My eyes should never be only on my circumstances, but eyes up to heaven seeking God completely.
I sink to readily into the hard times – an almost ever present sorrow on my face. Never surprised by the hard things but never looking for the joyful things. And they are both ever present.
The tenderness I long for can only grow out of my ability to embrace both. And to stop thinking of my life as drudgery or punishment.
So I ask forgiveness from the Lord. I repent of always moping the disquieting things and for always embracing the hard and never embracing the joy. May I stop floundering and looking at my times and focus soley on Jesus…day by day and minute by minute.
May I enter into the disquiet and delightful
seeking the purpose and nearness of God
believing that God is there already
and look from my times to God whose purpose and nearness expose the location of our true good.