I Kings 6:7 (MSG) The Stone blocks for the building of The Temple were all dressed at the quarry so that the building site itself was reverently quiet -- no noise from hammers and chisels and other tools.
When I read this tonight it occurred to me how seriously Solomon revered God's sovereignty. The book itself seems to have that theme (the Sovereignty of God). But that Solomon would command that all the noisiness of the construction be done elsewhere so that the building site could be kept "reverently quiet" (as the place of God) seems to take that to a whole new level.
Lately, I'm living the reality of an over-packed schedule. School seems to demand so much of my time that my FT job has seemed more and more exhausting and at times impossible. Also, although my every intention when I started was that I wouldn't let school interfere with my quiet times with God, I seem to continually be rationalizing skipping these sessions. Or, even more aggravating, trying to have them but then not being fully into it and getting distracted. I will be praying about something and it will remind me of something else that happened and before I know it I'm replaying in my mind events and conversations and then thinking over things that have happened (that are done and out of my control). Late into the evening (or early morning) I'm doing this. Living my week for the weekend. It occurs to me (tonight especially) that I'm not getting anywhere (and not entering that special place where God and I commune) because I can't seem to shut up(!) If I paid attention to the themes of the lessons I do manage to take in, I probably would've gotten this sooner (I guess that's why they always advise you to write down what you've learned)- God is trying to show me His sovereignty in my circumstances.
The story of Elijah (one of the things I heard recently that stuck with me) - when he was fleeing Jezebel and went to the mountain of God - the original text says he went to "the" cave (not just "a" cave). Which some scholars believe was the cave that was the 'cleft of the rock' Moses rested in when God covered him with his hand (Exodus 33). Elijah and possibly Moses, learned in that same spot that God was protecting them (covering them with his hand) and all that could be done was nothing...rest. In addition to that God spoke to him in the still small voice - God was in the quiet.
Later in this chapter (I kings 6) God makes a statement about what this temple will mean to the Israelites (the parallel of which, the people won't see until Jesus comes). In verses 11-13 (MSG) He says, "About this Temple..." (notice how "Temple" is capitalized) "...you are building -- what's important is that you live the way I've set out for you and do what I tell you, following my instructions carefully and obediently. Then I'll complete in you the promise I made to David your father. I'll personally take up my residence among the Israelites -- I won't desert my people Israel."
God has promised me so many times that He won't desert me. Yet I still have this unshakable feeling that he's 'just not that into me' (yet another thing I heard recently). I'm embarrassed to admit I'm jealous of those who were born Jewish. If they had got it right, He might not have extended the invitation to everyone else. That thought has always bothered me. I'm grateful for the handout (to be the puppy who gets to eat the scraps of the children at dinner time [Matthew 15]), but I also sort of wish I was one of the original children.
Lately I've been very lonely. I can feel the Spirit diminishing within me everyday that I fail to make time with God a priority. I'm back to my old vices - meeting with an old boyfriend and grasping at the imitation of intimacy; missing the tangible aspects of the relationship - (for clarification I'm not talking about sex, but the little things - like holding hands or hugging - or deep meaningful conversations). I don't think its wrong to want those things (after all doesn't God say in Genesis, "It's not good for man to be alone"?) Which, by the way, the fact that He would design us to need each other as well as needing Him, is definitely a true testament to God's humble nature. However, its not good that I'm using that as a substitute (and a poor one at that) for something (or rather some one -- the ONE) I was designed to need.
The truth is, I sometimes have a tough time remembering just how much I need Him. It used to impress me with the last guy I dated long distance, that every time we were around each other, he was so infatuated with me (which I loved because I was infatuated with him even when we weren't around each other). I would wonder why he couldn't remember all the things he liked about me when we weren't sitting in the same room. I wonder if God wonders that about me (why I can't remember how much I need to be in His presence to just feel right). Each time I make it there, its so incredibly worth the effort. Yet once I'm back in the every day, I quickly forget and look for anything else that will satisfy that loneliness I feel without Him. (and have yet to find something that will).
"Every beginning is scary and every ending is usually sad but its the middle that counts" - Hope floats
I accepted a new job. New. I remind myself constantly (as do my loving friends) 'there is no wrong answer here'. In an economy where I'm lucky to have a job let alone two to choose from. I'm plagued with the fear of making the wrong choice. I've prayed for God to orchestrate a path for me to go back to school. (If that were his will for me at this time). And so far everything has laid itself perfectly in my path. Classes that I needed to take were available with the right timing, work was flexible and even paid for one of the classes. But at the end of this semester I knew another challenge faced me with time and money. And I prayed for a way for this to work. This new job literally landed in my lap. (I didn't even apply) The income of which would allow me to afford school. How can I ignore it? Yet I am comfortable with where I am at. I'm grateful for the opportunity but on the same note, feel like a rug has been pulled out from beneath me. Even staying with my old job would mean change. The company is merging with another - changed office, new supervisor. All of these unknowns in the equation. I could even be let go once the transition had completed. All of this has been running through my mind constantly, yet now (tonight) when I think about it (especially after seeing it on paper) it seems so worthless. What a waste of energy. God has promised He will sustain me (Psalm 55:22). He's promised that I can determine my path and he will show me the steps to get there (Proverbs 16:9). I have been assured that God will work out the specifics if I will just trust Him; stay near to him (John 15:4). What a ridiculous time to not stay connected with him (just when I need him most).
Thank you God for giving me rest. I know when I come through this I'll see your back (Exodus 33) - that you were there all along. If I can just settle down - I know You've got me covered and that You will protect me. I need to rest and to be still. Quiet.
This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."