We’re all moved into our new house and life is starting to settle again. I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days, something I’ve been enjoying. I busied myself too much over the move. I didn’t take time alone with God really, I didn’t rest, I didn’t think about much of anything besides getting the house put together. And at the end of it all, even though the house was unpacked, my soul was empty and down from being so ignored. And I’ve been learning to rest again, or as Emily Freeman says, making space for my soul to breathe. And how my soul needs that space.
And in that rest He’s finding me. “Be still and know…” Because it says it there: “My God in his steadfast love will meet me.” (Psalm 59:10) And He does meet me. And as I come to meet my Jesus again, I see Him. I see this man who “wearied as he was from his journey was sitting beside the well,” and all the while “his disciples had gone into the city to buy food.” (Jn. 4:6-8) He was the man who sought rest when He was weary even when His friends were busy running errands. He took responsibility to give His soul the rest it needed even if it could’ve easily looked to others like He was just being lazy. Like when He took a nap on the boat while His disciples were busy running the ship. My Savior knows the souls need for rest. If Jesus Christ made a point of taking time to rest how must we all need rest.
And how good it is to know that. Because I’ve been struggling with bitter thoughts and then again in my soul’s empty state, I turn to hide from Him in shame, like I can’t go to Him in my mess, and then my bitter thoughts only grow. But He finds me with those precious words. “My God in His steadfast love will meet me.” (Ps. 59:10) And that sets upon my soul struggles a beautiful relief. I’ve felt lost on how to respond to my sin, and though I know He accepts me as righteous, my soul has not rested there, and I go back to the shame again. And I try to fight shame, but I’m not sure how to counter it. But there in Psalms He speaks to me the replacement for my shame. “Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name.” (Ps. 74:21) Rather than turning in shame, praise His name. Replace shame with praise.
When I have those bitter thoughts, He is there offering the grace for that moment and those thoughts can be my cue to turn to praising Him that He does, in fact, meet me in His Love, even when I’m coming from the place of failing.
He meets me as He met Adam and Eve when they hid in shame. When they did not remember that they were made in God’s image and tried to become like God in their own way. Emily Freeman points out that all of God’s children do the same when they sin – they don’t remember. (Grace for the Good Girl, Ch 10) We deny our identity when we sin and we deny it perhaps even more when we hide in shame. Because it is in shame that we believe that we are a failure when God has said we are righteous in Christ. He is my identity and that is what I can always praise Him for. That is the identity I have to speak into my soul and praise my God for when the shame starts to creep in. It is because of that identity that I can come boldly to the One who first came to me.