Monday, July 22, 2013

living small

 It has been a few weeks
since I have sat down to pen what is going on in my head.
Trying to put into words this process takes time
I want to get it right
I don't want to miss the root of it

I have reached a mile-stone of sorts...
I have been here in my new place for the longest stretch yet
No heading back to Arizona due to
loose ends
home sickness
caring for others
one last meeting
one last lunch
one last coffee
one last tea
one last hug
one last laugh
one last cry

It is quiet here
those who I hold nearest in my heart are further away than ever
I read their words in a text
I hear them through a speaker
I see them on a screen
I cannot touch them

I am asked what do I do with my time
My answer....
I am learning  to live small

At first I had grand ideas of why God had moved me so far away
Would I go back to school?
Would I go to work?
Would I have a place to serve and minister?

things start working itself out
This is not a time to be hasty

For, the louder the world is
the harder it is to hear the voice of God.
And I so want to hear His voice.
I don't want to miss what He is offering to teach me right now.

Living small is harder than it sounds
It means wide open spaces
seeing forever in every direction
and realizing that standing still and staying small
Is what will allow the best vantage point to what God is up to.

The smaller I am
The bigger God is

When I am small
my senses have a chance to tune in to what God is doing all around me.
I can see Him working
I can feel His hand leading me this way and that
I can hear those longing to be heard and I have time to listen and encourage
My vision becomes focused 

As long as I live small my attitude stays right

but I have to admit that there are moments when my quiet world feels oppressive
I go from staying small to withdrawing, disengaging, turning inward.

You see, there is a difference between living small and living like a hermit.
You know what I mean....
it is the difference between
waiting with anticipation or closing out the world
staying in God's Word or spending the day watching T.V.
stepping out of the zone of comfort or slipping back under the covers
speaking words of encouragement or all day silence

I have no doubt that God is here
It is taking every ounce of faith that I have
to wait
to not run ahead
to not "help" God out 
to stand still
to watch

to live small

I love the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19

Fleeing for his life, he finds himself in a desolate place
where an angel of the Lord ministers to him in his exhaustion
Then.... a wonderful things happens!
God speaks!!!
God ask him what he is doing there.
I think that is hilarious.
It is so God
God knew why he was there, but here He was asking...
at this point Elijah basically vents
Elijah vents to God,
can you imagine?
God is audibly speaking and instead of being on his face, he vents.
Like God is not aware of what Elijah has experienced.

I confess, I have done that...

Then, oh precious faithful God
He does the most wonderful thing for Elijah
Here is Elijah, feeling alone and exasperated
and God does something perfect for the situation
He reveals Himself

I love this!
First He shows where He is not...
He is not in the mountains breaking apart

He is not in the strong winds

He is not in the earth quake

He is not in the fire

Then He shows where He is...

in the quiet
in a whisper

Elijah recognizes it right away and responds to His voice

Then God asks again....why are you here?

again Elijah shares
but I think that although the words are the same
the emotion behind them has changed

For instead of Elijah being in a desperate place
he is in a place where he can hear and feel God's presence.

This is what I desire
To feel God's presence and hear His voice
in the quiet
in a whisper 

So, I will continue to live small
for as long as it takes
so I may hear Him
so I may go and do what He has for me to do

1 Kings 19:9-16
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Then he came there to a cave and lodged there;
and behold, the word of the Lord came to him,
and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts;
for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars
and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left;
and they seek my life, to take it away.”
11 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.”
And behold, the Lord was passing by!
And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains
and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord;
but the Lord was not in the wind.
And after the wind an earthquake,
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
1After the earthquake a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire;
and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.
13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle
and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.
And behold, a voice came to him and said,
 “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 
Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts;
for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars
and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left;
and they seek my life, to take it away.”
15 The Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus,
and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram;
16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel;
and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah
you shall anoint as prophet in your place.


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