The winds have been blowing the last few days. Weather alerts have been passing over my phone on a regular basis, reminding me that spring is coming in only a few weeks. The weather seems to mimic my heart these days, blowing and breezing and swirling around as life seems to turn good and bad and everything else together.
Why is it that when humanity is breaking the world seems to weep and toss with it?
This past week two of my students lost grandparents. A few weeks before that, a violent and sudden loss occurred in the family of another student. Just this week a dear sister-in-Christ, a fellow homeschooling momma who has blessed so many, met Jesus as her battle with cancer came to an end. Her funeral is Saturday.
And my heart hurts for the hurt that is being felt.
But I know with all that I know that God is Good. All. The. Time.
And the words that are running through my mind today are, “How will you sit with the broken?”
Because that is where we will find ourselves at some point. Right in the space of the grieving and the questioning and the searching and the misunderstood. And our purpose in this, it really is a leaning into His grace… a pointing the way to the only One who can make sense out of the senseless.
I am longing to know how to bend with His heart towards these breaking souls better, to sit patiently with them and love them and listen when all they need is an ear and not an answer. Perhaps it is a part of this lending that He is leading me to press into. A gentle but firm push to humbly find knees low and head bowed with purpose and passion and prayer.
Prayer can be a resting time when we choose to listen first. It can be a place where we break into heaven’s storehouse and pull down the grace that we can count when we settle first at the foot of mercy and wait patiently for the wind of His glory to blow over our flooded souls. It is the sacred space that we choose to set aside self in order to seek God.
Listening is as active as leading. It really has the potential to be more powerful than our words. I am learning to let my heart find that space to actively hear the hearts of others. When we listen we have the perspective of hope on our side. Sometimes we just don’t know the right words, but maybe when we let empathy be our guide and transparency be our answer the words are not the most important… our actions are. I keep thinking that love is what identifies. Love won on Calvary.
Waiting in the moment is purposeful. It is perhaps the most misplaced faith action there is. But what if we saw it as the most significantly powerful position we take? To wait implies we expect something to happen, to show up, to be. This sitting with the broken is a waiting on purpose kind of fellowship. It is showing up and living life together. It is letting go of the distractions that blind you from the beauty, even in the hard, and deafen you from the symphony grace is playing, even in the storms.
Though I did not grow up with a liturgical background, I have always loved the rhythm the traditions create. It gives direction and purpose and depth to the studying and the seeking. As I have been taking time, counting #gracemoments in prayer this week, I am learning more about this rhythm of resting that creates Sabbath living.
The more I look right into the face of I AM in the words of fellow writers… inhaling the faith-winds that are flowing on the current of their stories…my faith is given a vitamin of grace for the day ahead.
“Lent is the season of patient perseverance in penitence, of listening more and talking less, of resting words and saturating thoughts in the Word made flesh”. – Shelly Miller.
If the Lenten season is one of patient perseverance, of listening and resting and saturating our soul with the Word. I don’t want to settle for just a season, instead I want it to become a way of being. A living that is permeated with the faithful breeze of grace always pushing me right into the strong embrace of the Father, this is the kind of life I long to lean into.
Reading through familiar words in Isaiah 54 and camping in Psalm 139, praying that prayer of belonging, I am becoming a waiting woman. As people I love and people I am coming to love deep are being swept up in the chaos of the seasons of life where loss and pain and suffering blow through their existence changing them for eternity, I am leaning into this lent life of faith.
For though the mountains depart, the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you. – Isaiah 54:10
If God’s love and compassion are NOT removed, ever …. then we have no fear of shame or reproach. Romans 8:1 reminds us there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, so we can trust that the kindness and the love that He has blown over our souls will be the force that allows us to lend life in those hard places toward others who have been burdened and broken by life.
These circumstances of our days, the mountains that seem insurmountable, the hills of opposition… they will ultimately change and as undeniably they’ll also change us.
The reality is that everything changes. It is a part of our living. The experience affects us, sometimes making us see an altered view about what change is and how it plays a part in our lives. The thing we forget, the thing we need to remember is that even when things change… God does not.His love does not. His compassion does not.
And this needs to be known and understood, especially in our grieving and our pressing, because it helps us to reconcile the dark and the difficult moments.
As we look close to the promises penned for us by the ancient saints, we can rest in this truth: You are searched, known, understood, sifted, acquainted, beset, shut-in, and held.
O LORD, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. You know my downsitting and my uprising; You understand my thought afar off. You sift and search out my path and my lying down and You are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue [still ununttered] but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have beset me and shut me in – behind and before, and You have laid your hand upon me. Psalm 139:1-5
When my friend’s questions have me quietly listening and weeping with her, unsure what to say… I want to be lent towards His compassionate love. And when my student’s hearts leak love as they miss their favorite people and learn at a young age the difficult journey of grief… I want to be lent towards His way of mercy. When my own questions about why the good ones are gone too soon and how to still believe in the message of goodness…I want to be lent towards His wisdom and grace.
This Lent Life is a pursuit.
It is a seeking to be acquainted, searched, known, and understood in all of our days. The hard grieving days, the restless misunderstanding days, the quiet waiting days, and the busy overwhelming days. As well as the good and the beautiful and the hope-filled days.
This Lent Life is a believing journey. It is a set apart way. It is a surrendered space. It is a holy habit.
And on those days, the ones that you question and you wonder and you ask the for the signs that God is there that He is hearing you and He is listening…it is your purpose to lean into Him.
Praying for the quiet spaces, the redeeming graces, and the gentle places of His continued presence in your journeys.
**I have been so blessed by Shelly Miller’s, Rhythms of Rest book and her Lent Companion, and Michele Cushatt’s, I Am 60-Day devotional this past month. If you are looking for a book to slow down and settle close with, I recommend both.**
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
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Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.