This is an interesting time of year, this season of Advent, with the ending of a decade fast approaching and a new year beginning.
It’s easy to want answers about the past and clarity for the future. At least for me. I want to make sense of things, fit it all together logically, and then make goals and plans that I can count on. And so these past few weeks, I tried. God let me. He let me try it so that I would find how short I would fall, so that I would feel the anxiety and stress of trying to fix it on my own.
Turns out, demanding answers and clarity brings only turmoil and worry.
So I quit. I got sick and tired of trying to be God. It’s exhausting. And foolish. And impossible.
Funny. When I decided to wait again upon God, love the life I have today, and allow my heart to hope, all of a sudden I started hearing from God again. It had been very quiet the last while, reading through His Word but feeling rather wooden about it all. God was leading me, tenderly guiding me, but I wasn’t hearing His voice quite so well.
I went first to Revelations 21. Talk about a beautiful ending to the story and promises I can count on. Regardless of what happens this coming year or coming decade, the ultimate ending is promised, and it is such a good one.
I wrote out a list of fears that these promises meet, and it calmed my heart. He wants to be with me, this God of mine, and I know that He loves me, regardless of what circumstances might tempt me to think. There is such peace in that, unexplainable though it may be.
A phrase came to mind, “I have quieted my soul within me”, or something like that. Because I finally felt quiet and at rest, after weeks of turmoil. I looked it up. Tears came quick.
“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.” – Psalm 131
God knew. God put that phrase on my mind and sent me to the exact passage I needed right then.
There is peace in letting it all go, not occupying myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. And this affirmed that. It’s okay, even best, to just calmly and quietly trust Him, knowing that He will care for me, and put my hope fully in Him.
I don’t need to understand why God did what He did or how it will all play out. I don’t need to know what will come next in my story. I don’t need to worry about what might happen if I wait. I don’t need to take things into my own hands. I don’t need to make sense of it all. I don’t. need. to. know.
It is enough to just trust Him, to look to Him and nothing else, just to know Him and to meditate on Him and to gaze upon His beauty. He is enough. Still. Always. It is enough to know who He is and to trust Him. I am safe to hope in Him.
I studied through Psalm 130 too. It struck me how the psalmist started out crying out to God, then he remembered who God is, decided to wait for Him and hope in Him . . . and there never was a direct response to his original cry. With the Lord there is steadfast love and plentiful redemption, and that is enough.
I am covenantally loved. I am redeemed and offered ongoing mercy. In good time, I may be given the earthly picture of marriage, but even if not, I still get the ultimate picture.
This is what it is to be held fast by God. To be held in the most mysterious peace. Nothing has changed in my circumstances, no answers or clarity have been given . . . and yet His peace is overwhelmingly sweet. Time in His word has become precious again, as I see His hand and feel the intimacy of being with Him.
I deserve none of it. But He gives it freely anyway. It’s all part of the mystery of the way God works. I’m grateful.
With Him there is forgiveness, steadfast love, plentiful redemption. And so I will hope in Him. I will wait for Him. I will allow Him to bless me if and when and how He sees fit. I will be ever so grateful that He calls me beloved.
Yes, I will lift my eyes up, and remember that my help comes from God alone. I will remember that He is my keeper. I will look to Him, and He will have mercy upon me. My help is in His name, and if I trust in Him, I will not be moved.
Join me? In His presence is fullness of joy. May we find it today and every day.