Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Quiet Places

I've deleted more articles in the last 20 days than I can count.  I start writing things that are on my mind only to feel strongly compelled to keep them close.  I guess it's good that I don't earn a living by writing.  Still, in times like this it's easy to feel like a dry well.   We are told in scripture that there is a time to be silent.  So rather than forcing out words, I wait and be silent, being careful not to speak without wisdom, being careful to listen rather than to speak.  And it always does my heart good.  

Ecclesiastes 6:11
"The more the words the less the meaning and how does that profit anyone?"

In quiet days, my heart still ponders the things of God.  And I still find myself searching scripture for answers to the myriad questions I have.  But those quiet days also give me a push to simply rest and let God's leading of my heart and understanding just be for me.  Sounds selfish, right?  I mean, to want to keep the secret things God teaches me to myself sounds completely selfish to my mind.  But I think sometimes it's ok just to enjoy the intimate moments I have with God without feeling pressure to regurgitate every little good thing I glean from my time with Him.    I liken it to my relationship with my husband or his relationship with me. 

We have our public moments that you all get to be a part of.  The bantering, the harmony, the tender stories of our courtship, love and trials...we often share them with you for the sake of building you up and allowing you to enjoy a taste of what God has given us as a family.  And we love to do that!  And we've shared laughter and tears with many of you as you in turn tell us your own stories.   We love to let God use any part of who we are to draw you closer to who He is.  We do this because we want you to feel His love for you as much as we've felt His love for us.  So we share.  But there are things that are between us that we keep.  Though you have the privilege of seeing us together on stage, hearing our stories, we do know there is a place for personal intimacy that is exclusive.  I believe my relationship with God is the same.  

As can be seen through my years of writing and performing, I have been willing to be vulnerable to the public by sharing my thoughts and testimony.  Anyone who has lived a life like mine knows this does not come without a price.  But I'm still here, trusting that if anything I could say would lead you to seek Christ then I am willing to speak, even if it means I die to myself by not allowing myself the simple pleasure of being unknown.  But there is a time for silence too.   I have quiet thoughts I share solely with Him.  And there are things He teaches me that I keep close to my own heart because I have a personal relationship with God that is mine alone.  So I seek Him in lonely places, being quiet with Him, keeping close the things He reveals, until such a time as He would have me speak freely.  

My encouragement to you today is to allow yourself the pleasure of enjoying intimacy with God, without feeling compelled to reveal everything He shows you.  Take the time to own it, understand it, love it and worship Him for it.  It's true that we are one in Christ.  It's true that unity is one of the most important things Jesus desires for us as His Church.  But it's also true that you are of personal interest to God.  Yes, you.  Group bible studies are good.  Prayer groups are good.  Sharing with your sisters or brothers is good.  But it is also good to seek out the lonely places as Jesus did, just to spend quiet time with the Father alone.  And keeping what He teaches you close to your heart until He releases you to share it is good too.  

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