– Secret Place Insights –
Dear One, on this particular morning, I did not hesitate. I did not even give my husband a morning kiss. Something was out of sync. I brushed my wild, curly hair without even looking in the bathroom mirror; for some reason I think that before I meet with God I should smooth it some. I grabbed my robe, bypassed the kitchen, made no detour for coffee, closed the computer-room door behind me, and sat down at my quiet-time desk.
And there I sat. Alone. It seemed. Of course, the Holy Spirit was present, for that is God’s promise, but that morning, He kept His distance. There was no sense of His Presence. Nothing. I sang of His holiness. Nothing. I read in Leviticus about the soothing aroma that the Israelites sin offering was to God. And although Leviticus is often considered monotonous, it had until now, fascinated me. The fact that God went to such detail about what the Israelites were to do for the forgiveness of sins, had always impressed me. It provided such a strong example of how no detail was small to God, that everything in life mattered to Him. But that morning nothing was intriguing. I sat…waited. Nothing changed.
Something was amiss. There was no sense of His Presence, no sense of having had entered the Holy of Holies. Why not, I wondered?
I turned to Psalm 26 and 27. Usually, I nearly tear-up just thinking about the fact that I am reading the very words that King David penned for the Lord Most High. Nothing. I went over the chapters again, picking out favorite verses. Nothing. I waited. I wondered?
Why am I not sensing the Presence of God? Oh, Lord, will You not share this time with me? How can I do all that I have to do today without Your intimate guidance? I was meeting that afternoon to encourage a spiritual leader in his ministry. Still nothing.
I located my place in Luke 8, the ‘Lamp on a Stand,’ section. How familiar it was, for it spoke of God’s Light which He gave to us to share with others. Nothing. Well, surely, when I picked up where I left off in Acts 15, where Paul and Barnabas argued a case for the Gentiles, I would become engaged. Nothing.
I waited silently. Nothing. I prayed for family. Nothing. I prayed for friends. Nothing. There was such a sense of God’s absence, that I began to wonder, what was the cause? I asked for the forgiveness of my sins, and then…then…I remembered…yesterday. I remembered having neglected to do what I had told someone I would do. I asked for forgiveness of that particular neglect. I knew I was forgiven, for God promises us forgiveness through His Son, but still God was distant. It was then that I realized, that I had to do today what I did not do yesterday. I tried to tell God that I would do it, that I would fulfill my part of the agreement. Nothing.
Finally, it was clear to me. God would not draw closer until I had done what was right. Yes, I was forgiven, but He wanted me to fulfill my agreement. He did not tell me that, but it was pressingly evident. Then I knew, without a doubt, He did not want to hear me say what I would do. He had heard that before, when I told my friend. He wanted to see me carry it though. He was, after all, my Mentor, and no detail was unimportant to Him.
I left my quiet-time desk, knowing full well that yesterday I had failed my friend, and my Lord. And that He would not accept it, for He had taught me to behave differently. My heart filled with thankfulness. Yes, thankfulness. I thanked Him, over and over, because He loves me (He loves all of us), so much that He would not ignore my selfish failure. He would teach me to do it over, His way.
I left the room, without talking to Him about how much I missed His Presence, or that I would return tomorrow. For it was obvious, He did not want to hear from me. But I trusted that He would listen tomorrow, after He had enjoyed the sweet aroma of my delayed obedience, perhaps something like the aroma of the sin offering in Leviticus.
Thank you Lord. Thank you that every single detail of life matters to you, and that it is through living our lives, with You in mind, that we honor You.
“…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 b
Footnote: I recently picked up the practice of reading simultaneously from four sections of the Bible as suggested in Bob Sorge’s book, Secrets of the Secret Place. I am enjoying it very much…most days. 🙂 His book is referred to in the Bible Reading portion of ‘Going Deeper.’
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