I woke up this morning the way that I sometimes do – a little bit earlier than normal. And with some very specific words reverberating in my still-sleepy mind:
oh magnify the
I could have gone back to sleep. I could have missed the moment. But my sweet husband was already up and getting ready for another morning at the gym. So I got up with him. And kissed him goodbye as the coffee ground rich and fresh. I couldn’t wait for it to finish brewing, so I pulled the pot out mid-brew and filled my favorite mug before heading out to the lanai in the quiet, early morning.
It was only the second day that I sat at our newly re-finished outdoor table. The one that had been in storage for two years. And in our kitchen for ten years before that. The one that help up the weight of heavy conversation and wordless prayer. Oh, the conversations we’ve had here together, You and I, I wrote in my journal. Figuring out how to navigate those ten years.
It was at this table that I learned how to dig deep into His Word as a means of survival. To find the treasures that are hidden in the darkness. To find the light in the dark tunnel of cancer and delayed fertility.
We packed up the table and all of its sentimentality when we moved to Maui – a packing away of the proverbial heavy, winter clothes in pursuit of healing and warm air and tropical breezes.
The last time I sat there at that table, it was a different color. With different upholstery. In a different zip code. The last time I sat there, I praised God for His sovereignty. Even though my best friend’s faith was as sight, and we still held out hope for our miracle baby after what had been at that time an eight year wait.
I had no idea that the next time I would sit at that same table, I would be eight months pregnant.
Refinished and reupholstered. Both the table and me. And I sat there with Him. And opened my Bible to the words He used to wake me with a whisper.
oh, magnify the LORD with me and let us exalt His name together.
I read and I dug and I looked up words and I wrote down truth. And then, the words audibly escaped my lips in a quiet hush for nobody to hear other than myself: Oh my gosh! Because I came to a point in the merciful truth of His magnification that continued the conversation from a couple of days earlier. The one about how He gives the autumn rain of His presence.
It turns out that a version of magnification is also used to describe the nourishment of plants. And trees. When He plants a pine, Isaiah says, He uses the rain to nourish it. But not just any rain. The same violent and heavy rain that describes His autumn-rains.
oh, magnify the LORD with me
And then I began to think of this idea of magnifying Him. And the reciprocity that’s found in our relationship with the God of the universe and the LORD of our hearts. Because, friends, before we could begin to understand the impact of His manifold mercy, He made much of us.
He makes much of you and me. He thinks highly of you and me. As many as the sand on the shore – so great are His thoughts toward you and me. Do we know that? Do we believe it? In the midst of anxiety and fear and insecurity and busy-ness and chaos and the mundane, He values you.
David says it loud and strong and urgent:
I will praise the name of God with a song, and I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
Because, as it turns out, thanksgiving is a magnifying glass over His character. And His provision. And His pure and holy and only-ever-kind nature. And when we take time to stop and realize not only what He has done for us, and what He has given to us, but also how He makes much of us? And count our joys and thanks? He increases and magnifies while we, in turn, “sink lower and lower in holy awe” (Charles Spurgeon).
I pushed the chair back from my refinished table to grab a book off of an inside shelf when the words came thundering:
more than my necessary bread
They were spoken by Job when he was neck-deep in heartache and suffering:
I have treasured, esteemed, and hidden away the words of His mouth in my heart more than my necessary food.
And I took the words the man-acquainted-with-suffering said about the God Who would later send His Son-of-sorrows-and-acquainted-with-grief. And I made them my own:
Who am I that You should magnify me? And hear my cry? And answer my prayer after all these years? Who am I that You should give me this truly epic story of manifold mercy? Who am I that You should set Your heart on me? That You should visit me and attend to me every single morning? (Job 7:17)
He magnifies us. That we can turn around and magnify Him. And say with a deep breath full of I-know-this-to-be-true-so-you’ve-got-to-hear-me-out fervor:
I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food because He visits me every morning. And nourishes me with the heavy and filling autumn rain of His presence.
Isaiah 44:14 + Job 7:17 + Job 23:12
And so I’ll say it again: