It’s a slow-moving Wednesday morning. The only sound in our little cottage is the humming refrigerator and the sound of my own breakfast chewing, sprinkled in with the occasional chirping bird outside the open window. That’s how most days are around here. Josh goes off the work, and I work from home. Uninterrupted. In the quiet stillness of my 500 square feet. It’s my favorite way to work.
God woke me up early this morning after seeing me last night. Feeling adrift. A little lost. It’s shocking how quickly peace can get interrupted. One minute your mind is comfortably waist-deep in the crystal clear water of contentment and the next it’s floating out in open sea with not a shoreline (or a person) in sight.
He woke me up early in that charcoal grey of day just before dawn. The bed was empty next to me – Josh was already at the gym. I reached for my phone. There was a text message waiting from a girlfriend who thought of me during her own quiet time as she came upon a verse. It was in 1 Chronicles. The same section of Scripture He has me circling back to. Referring back to. Finding my way back to through cross-references and accidental stumble-upons. It’s no accident, really. Circling around in the chronicling of the kings as I chronicle this journey of delayed fertility. Sharing how He’s speaking. And what He’s teaching. And the floaties of truth He slips on my arms to keep me afloat.
seek the LORD and His strength
“I’m here”, He whispered. “When you feel alone and overwhelmed and crumbling under the weight of the wait, I’m here. Seek Me. Seek My strength. And My face. And together, we’ll get you through.”
I was overwhelmed last night with the responsibility of waiting for God to provide our baby. And the understanding that there’s absolutely nothing I can do. Nothing that will fast forward His timeline. Nothing that hasn’t already been tested or searched out or thought of or tried. I’ve been poked and prodded and inspected and tested. I’ve burned small discs on my toes and stuck hairpin needles in my skin. I’ve taken temperatures and tracked ovulation and drawn blood. As exhausting as all those things are, they are relatively easy. Because, for this go-getter personality type, I was doing something. But when God asks me to wait? And do nothing? To stand still and see the glory of Him? It can be excruciating at times. And when frustrations rise and hope fades and strength wanes and arguments ensue and tears come… He wakes me up in the morning. I’m still with you. And the thing about seeking Him? It’s a command to go back and go back and go back again until the earth below your feet is trampled down from the walking. And the treading. And the journey. Because when you come back often, the path is worn. And the habit is created. And it gets easier to find Him.
seek His face evermore
This weekend, we spent our Saturday at the beach. Five families and twelve kids in a protected cove of the most beautiful and still blue-green water. We arrived in the morning and stayed until after the sun had set. It was the most beautiful kind of community and fellowship. When the afternoon rolled around, a girlfriend began her beach-day routine of walking her baby to sleep. But she didn’t feel much like napping. So she stayed up and played, blissfully unaware of how good her life was. Until a few hours later, when exhaustion set in and a meltdown ensued. So her mom scooped her up and walked her down the beach again. And this time, when she came back a short while later, Nevaeh was alseep with her 19-month-old hand reaching up and resting on her mom’s face. Because sometimes the only way to settle down and settle in and find rest from the meltdown is to touch that familiar face. And find safety. And security. And protection. And sleep.
That first Hebrew word for seek in 1 Chronicles 16:11 is the idea of treading down. But that second word? It holds the signification of searching. And its primary power appears to be that of touching. Feeling. Searching for His face by touching it. Because sometimes the only way to settle down and settle in and find rest from the meltdown is to touch His face. Continually. In perpetuity. Evermore. To stretch my hand out as He stretches faith and time. And touch His face. And go on.
LORD, make me a woman of continuance
Of setting You always before me. So that the meltdown-triggers fire less because Your face is perpetually in front of me. Because when You are always, perpetually, continually set before me, my heart is glad. My feelings are brightened. My glory rejoices. And my flesh rests and settles down in hope, with my hand touching Your face.
He woke me up this morning, waiting to clothe me in strength. Because strength and honor are the clothing of a spiritual, capable, intelligent and virtuous woman. And when she is properly clothed, she smiles at the future.
When You said, “seek My face,” my heart said to You “Your face, LORD, I will seek. And I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 27:8, 13-14