I'm not sure about you, but the last few weeks have been chaos in some ways for me...just very busy and I end up feeling like I need 5 more hours each day to get everything done. We're in the middle of intense rehearsals for our Christmas show at the Paramount on December 4th.
And, although it was INCREDIBLE, after the ZOE conference last weekend I really felt spent.
Also, my voice is struggling to overcome allergies...thank you, West Texas. So, last night was exciting for me but I was still feeling the crunch. The Spirit led Dava Lynn Sullivan to ask me how she could be praying for me (Thank you, DL!) It caused me to self examine...to stop and be still. So, during the elders meeting (sorry, Ed) I practiced praying in color like our children's minister, Suzetta, does. I decided to just sit right in the middle of the words "Here With Us". What I discovered was that a deep need was being met in that moment as the Spirit brought to mind every word, every phrase, every description that makes up Immanuel...God with us.
I wrote in big block letters in the middle "Here With Us" and began to just surround it with phrases and descriptions that came to mind. As I did, I felt bit by bit, my heart releasing to the Lord....relinquishing power, resting in Him, being quiet, receiving His fuel. Some of the words and phrases I wrote as I contemplated God's real presence with me were, "Peace, present, available, focus, able, Life, comfort, support, beside, around, under, over, in and through, in the dark, in the car, at rehearsal, at home, as I sleep, in the stillness, Guide, Companion, Friend, Guard, Shepherd, Healer, Father, Overcomer, Foundation, protection, cover, shield, FULL provision, green pastures, true life, true rest, Invader of loneliness, and "my worth is fully answered in Jesus".
This was a pretty personal exercise...there were some other things I wrote too, and I normally wouldn't share something like this but I felt prompted this morning to share with you. It's easy to allow our STRIVINGS to take over. But last night...as though He was almost pouring oil over my head...He quieted my heart to see the power once again of "Here With Us". The word "permeate" kept coming to mind. He will, if you'll allow Him, permeate your entire being today. He so wants that. He wants to be known by you. It's His greatest pleasure.
Consider these words from one of my favorite hymns--"Dear Lord and Father of Mankind"
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
The imagery there is exactly what I felt last night...God dropping droplets of quietness upon my soul...until my heart was calmed to really see things for how they are. His peace is truly everlasting...invading.
I don't know where you are today, but I really pray this will encourage you. It's not always easy to make yourself vulnerable to a bunch of people and I resist that at times, but felt the Lord's prompting today. I pray that in some ways my own struggle to find peace this week can encourage you in your journey.