I sat across a long-ago friend catching up on 15 years of living. We met together over coffee and words and #gracemoments. Though time flew by the days we had counted, it felt like an easy resting as we purposed to recount grace together. And slowly she told a story that led to an opportunity, where she scribed some words for the world to see all real and holy and wholly her.
Hot coffee cooled quickly as we talked. We met to catch up, to catch a bit of this dream-wave she is riding, the opportunity to write with others, but she left me with more than the paperbound story she shared with community. She challenged me with a word that even I didn’t know at the time would be a fulcrum for the days ahead.
When people are living fully in the midst of fully living they are the secret-bearers, the hiding place dwellers, the light-in-the-shadow walkers. They are the inspiring ones who look at life and say yes to wherever it is that God is telling them to go and they radiate hope in the going. A lot like those words we hold onto, they lead us to look closer at the things God is doing or going to do. It’s a #gracemoment and a #faithmoment that we should collect and ponder together.
Sometimes waiting for those #oneword directives that He gives us to hold onto, pray over, and utter bravely is like wilderness waiting. We feel barren and unproductive if we don’t have just the right word, or maybe we feel like the word itself will be the leverage to our feeble faith.
Because there are days on this journey it feels like we are desert-walking and we have nothing but shadows and darkened valleys before us.
But He is in the shadows.
It is a dwelling place for the hidden ones.
It is the secret set apart space for all those who remain fixed in Him.
He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty. – Psalm 91:1
And when we wait for the directives that His Word duplicates upon our soul, we find that even in the holding place, the hidden secret place, the light of His countenance shines into the darkened questions we long to have answered. It smoothes out the unknowns because we instinctively know that no matter what, we are safe here in the dwelling.
And those words from Psalm 91 resurrected from that place of long-ago, when I held on against the fear of what I couldn’t understand, back in the infancy of my faith journey when I learned to pray His Word instead of my own. And I knew, instinctively, that this year of more… an idea He was pressing on my soul… also needs to be the year that I let go of those things breaking me into unrecognizable pieces.
Because more of God means less and less of me. And maybe, the breaking is a grace because it lets mercy build us and hope find us and love fill us with more of the unseen which is eternally lasting.
And it starts in the shadows of His Grace. The secret place where those who come to God are rewarded with the covering of His wings and the assurance of angels who lift feet over stones and the satisfaction that salvation is the essence of a life wholly lived.
So we dwell with God, in His Word, in communion and prayer, in faith. And hidden in the secret place where God alone dwells, even the shadows are bathed in the light of His countenance. And we are reconstructed by the process of learning to dwell and to wait and to trust and to know. Because being known by God is what CS. Lewis meant when he said we were invented by Him.
“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become because he made us. He invented us… and all that you and I were intended to be. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”-C.S. Lewis
She challenged me with a more-than possibility that day. She reminded me of a truth I already knew, but looks so much different on one who dwells in possibilities rather than considers them. She lit a spark in a kindled heart, that day. A remembrance that all His answers to me are Yes and Amen when my prayers line right up with His will.
So maybe my answers should similarly reflect His leading.
Perhaps the key to a life wholly lived is the willingness to let His holiness reflect my wholly yes response. Maybe it means I have to dare to say yes to whatever He brings my way instead of weighing with clamped fists and impartial scales. Maybe it means that my best yes is always going to be His best ask for me at that very moment. And maybe it means that I haven’t been dwelling in the secret place the way I ought to be, because I have let fear and reason take a foothold where faith and trust were supposed to be my foundation.
Proverbs 13:12 tells us that when hope is deferred a heart becomes sick and defeated. But what if we look at it through the eyes of one who dwells close in the shadows of that secret place, where the wings of the One who chases shadows by the light of His countenance spread wide. Instead of letting our hearts become defeated, perhaps we ought to look right into unknown where fear and loss have held us captive and speak brave bold faith in response.
What if we say yes to God, even right there in the hard and the difficult spaces… especially so in the hard and the difficult spaces… would it change it all?
Yes. I believe it would.
Maybe not the circumstance immediately, but it will change you. It will alter the way you see everything.
Because faith in the face of fear gives wings to hope that cannot be deferred. And a soul that dwells with God is also one who will call to God and be answered by Him with deliverance and salvation every time.
The movement of grace heals the broken- Anne Lamott.
Here’s the thing grace-dweller. You were made to dwell with God. You were made for more. You have dreams and skills and talents and gifts that are meant for great things.
But first you need to learn to dwell.
Because God is your true destination, your ultimate goal, your dwelling place… and more is always found in Him.
I challenge you to say yes to everything He brings your way, good and bad today. I am encouraging you to look for more of Him in all you look towards. I am praying that you can dwell with God a little more as you wait in the shadows of his covering and let the light of His countenance chase away every shadow that threatens to defer your hope.
I created this journal/ebook: More of God for 2018 for you to jot down ideas and thoughts and words and prayers for the new year. Join me as I look for More of God in 2018. I hope it can encourage you and equip you to step into the brave and bold places as you seek Him more, pray more, and give more grace in your world.
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.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
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.