I read this morning
“joy is always given, never grasped”
and the thought that runs into my head
is that joy is never chased down,
and often missed because of how quickly I keep moving.
I live by distraction.
I live to move on to the next thing.
To close the book so I can add it to the list and move on to the next thing.
To finish the homework so we can move on to the next task.
To make supper, eat and clean up so we can get ready for bed.
As I write these words I laugh for the child that the Lord has given me.
One that forces me to go slower than I want.
Does she bring me into her space?
Does she bring me into that place of drawing, creating,
More often she angers me. Stirs up something within me.
Certainly not joy.
But now, as a simple task of emptying a dishwasher has brought me to my knees in discomfort,
I find myself having to slow and sit.
I find myself having to move at a pace that I don’t find comfortable.
I want to get well.
I want my body to be back to normal so that I can do and go.
But He has brought me to this place of quiet and rest.
I tell my husband that I read too quickly. I devour books, but they don’t sink in.
I’m like a speed eater who stuffs all the food in to win a contest, but doesn’t really enjoy it.
I move through life too quickly.
Trying to stuff it all in and then move on to…what?
So I find myself sitting in the place of slow
full of joy.
Joy for the sun streaming in that I tend to glance at, but never sit in.
Joy for the time reading words and writing them down and sitting with those words.
Joy for the time sitting at the table after dinner instead of hurrying to move on to the next thing.
Joy for the slow walk around the block. Stretching out muscles that are so easily tired right now.
Joy for the distractions that are fading away.
My husband and I are currently living in our eighth home in nearly fifteen years of marriage. Our first 6 homes happened within our first 7 years. Some of those moves were more necessary than others,
but all of them were opportunities for us to wait on the Lord.
Oftentimes we didn’t.
Both of us tend to jump too early. We think we “know” where the Lord is leading and in the past when we’ve seen a great opportunity we’ve taken it. Taken it without a lot of thought.
It’s only been in the past few years, call it maturity, that we’ve started to really stop and wait and pray for discernment. But it’s been a long road full of lots of bumps and struggles.
All because we were moving ahead of the Lord.
First Samuel 13 is the story of Saul and a battle with the Philistines. The Philistines are coming against him and he is losing, but he has been told to wait for Samuel.
He was told to wait.
But he doesn’t. My translation says that he “forced himself and offered the burnt offering.”
He forced himself on the Lord. I read that line and it crushes my heart and my sin.
How often do I force myself on the Lord? I want to be the one to dictate where my life is going.
I want to be the one in charge; to offer the burnt offering.
The enemies are approaching fast and if I don’t do something, then I am going to be crushed.
The Lord doesn’t seem to be moving quick enough or at all –
but the truth is, He is always moving.
All things work together for good, declares Romans 8:28. He is working for my good.
Whether He is moving quick or slow or even asking me to wait.
He has a plan and He knows it declares Jeremiah 29:11. He knows the path ahead and
he knows when and if the enemy is going to strike.
We have to make the choice to follow Him – to move as He moves and wait as He waits.
How different Saul’s story would have been if he would have trusted and waited.