Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Early Morning Encounter

I woke up early Monday morning, hungry for Jesus. The house was quiet, so I crept out of bed, made a cup of tea, and curled up on the sofa with my Bible, a journal, and a pen. Is there anything better?

The air was thick with anticipation. I knew my Savior was with me. One of my favorite characteristics of God is His omnipresence-I realize that He is always with me. At the same time, I love those moments when He seems to draw particularly near. Or maybe what really happens is I finally slow down enough to be particularly aware of His nearness. Either way, this was what happened on Monday morning: I was still, and I sensed His presence.

So we sat together, Jesus and me, in companionable silence. I was content to simply be with Him. After a while, some verses came to my mind. It was as if He wanted to speak His Word directly to my heart, that day, in that moment.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let you hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

These words by-passed my intellect, and sunk deeply into my heart. He GAVE me His peace, and effortlessly, it was mine. I wondered if I could hold on to that peace, and as quickly as I had posed the question, I knew the answer: I do not have to hold on to His peace because His peace is holding on to me.

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b

A command and a statement. I saw the command clearly because I have been grieving (a lot). In Ecclesiastes 3 I am told that there is a time to weep, and certainly leaving family and friends would be cause for weeping. But as you know, grief is tremendously draining. It was wearing me out. In the command, "Do not grieve," I felt His permission to stop grieving. It is as if He simply said, "enough."

As for the second part of this verse, I did not have to figure out how "the joy of the Lord is my strength," I simply recognized it is true. It wasn't a wish or a hope, it was an overwhelming reality. I HAVE the joy of the Lord and His joy makes me strong.

So if I do not weep when we part, do not think for a minute that I have not grieved our parting. I have. But now I am walking in joy. His joy. My strength. They are inseparable.

After spending time in His Word, I journaled. I write to process my thoughts, to verbalize my prayers, and to remember what God has said.

And then I was once again still before Him. Quiet with Him. Aware of His presence. Amazed by His love. Upheld by His hand. Grateful.

The Lord your God is WITH you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love; he will rejoice over you with his singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I did not hear any music that morning, but I sort of think He was singing.

1 comment:

  1. Jenn,
    I love this! Your experience w/ the Lord's everlasting faithfulness. It made me cry.