“But I will leave among you A humble and lowly people, And they will take refuge in the name of the LORD. Zephaniah 3:12
The Lord has been speaking to me a lot lately about humility, patience and childlike faith. I am SO THANKFUL for His instructions… So thankful for the Fear of the LORD in my heart. It’s a gift. It’s a great blessing. I want to get.. to remember what He is teaching me. I pray He engraves it on my heart.. that it becomes a part of who I am.
Last month, I mentioned how since losing Joel on the 7th I’ve had remember to be nice to myself on the 7th of each month. This 6-7th of March, I had a breakthrough.. at least I think it was a breakthrough. It may not sound like a breakthrough to you, but for me it was a breakthrough and a fresh breaking of my heart.
There are different kinds of losses; each one effects us differently. Our family has moved quite a bit and every move has been a kind of death; a letting go and an opening up to what God has next for us. Moving away from Texas… from family… from home the third time was a big one. I had to let the part of me who loved being “Aunt Jenny” die. It was harder than when I’d left before only as a daughter and sister. I cried for a solid week over the miles that would separate us from our family in the years to come.
Before losing Joel, losing my mom’s mom had been the hardest loss for me. She always made me feel so loved and cared for. She and my Granddad read a chapter from the Bible every evening before bed. It so impressed me. My Mamalene loved to play hymns on the piano and the organ and helped instill in me a love for Jesus and worship and discipline and beauty.
I inherited her piano, china and china cabinet among other things when she died. A for weeks after they were all unpacked, I felt like they were screaming at me: “Your grandma is dead. Your grandma is dead.” Screaming; forcing me to believe the heartbreaking reality that I would never see her again this side of Heaven.
Last week, I had a similar experience… I don’t think I can bring myself to write… My head knew, but my heart just learned what it couldn’t even begin to believe… what just couldn’t be true.
I heard the Lord speak to me over and over this week. I need to be still and rest and know that He is God and trust that He’s going to keep me.. to work in me.. to walk with me step by step. Holding on to humility, patience and childlike faith are not new struggles. How I’ve struggled with being patient and waiting on the Lord. I’ve struggled with the lack I see in my life and with knowing there is more lack I don’t see. I’ve struggled with putting on humility and trusting Him with childlike faith.
One day this week, He pointed out to me the childlike faith of a dear sister in Christ in a way that said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” I was humbled. I so want to choose to walk in that kind of faith. I want to stay tender, hold on to my innocence, and keep a childlike trust even as I pick up my cross and follow Him through the darkest valleys and up the most treacherous mountains.
He reminded me this week how He’d taught me while homeschooling to lead my children with gentleness and patience at their own pace. I’d so wanted to hurry them, but His hand stayed me with Jacob’s words to Esau:
Genesis 33 13 “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young… 14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children…”
Then He showed me in Isaiah how He is leading me the way He’d taught me to lead my children:
Isaiah 40:11 Like a shepherd, He tends His flock.
He gathers the lambs in His arms,
carries them close to His heart,
and gently leads the mother sheep.”
Who is Like the LORD?
12“Who has measured the waters of the sea
in the hollow of His hand
and marked off the heavens
by the width of His hand?…
13Who has fathomed the Spirit of the LORD,
or as his counselor has taught Him?
14With whom did He consult to enlighten
and instruct Him on the path of justice?
Or who taught Him knowledge
and showed Him the way of wisdom?
He is wise and able to lead me where I need to go. No need to rush. He is holding me close to His heart and gently leading me at a pace that is right for me. It’s not up to me. It’s up to Him. Christ in me is the Hope of Glory. My job is be still and wait on the LORD; listen and obey as He leads at the pace He has designed for me.
Psalm 31:9 Be merciful to me, Lord,
for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
14 But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands..
I feel like God is inviting me into a dance with Him; wooing me with slow, soft, graceful music, that I must strain to hear over my deceitful heart’s loud, contorted cries compelling me to “speed up the pace.” The struggle in my heart leaves me stressed and confused and stepping on His toes. Be still, Oh my soul, trust in wait for and rely on the Lord! As good friend said,
“It’s hard to figure out how to let him lead…I guess just keep hanging on and leaning into him…”
I am so thankful for His faithful leading.. teaching.. wooing. I am so thankful that He is Wisdom and knows just the right pace for us. I am so thankful that He carries us close to His heart… that we can lean into Him. I am so thankful that He renews strength, hearts and minds.. that He keeps them as we focus our trust on Him.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.
Our last move created in me a longing for roots. Roots in my family hall of faith. I hung pictures of our grandparents who’ve gone before us as a cloud of witnesses on the wall of my prayer room. This one of my Granddad and Mamalene is one of my favorites:
The Lord your God is in your midst.
He is a mighty savior, a victorious warrior.
He celebrates and sings because of you.
He takes great delight in you.
He will quiet and refresh you with His love.
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy
and delight you with His songs. Zephaniah 3:17
I am honing in my focus, listening for His “1,2,3 And.” I am trusting that as I humble myself and trust Him with a childlike faith that He will sweep me off my clumsy feet and continue to be faithful to teach me His slow, graceful, beautiful ways.
Abiding in His Love,