Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
"Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts…”
Written by Bethany Miller
Life comes in waves.
Waves of joy and purpose and hope. Waves of pain and sorrow and fear. These waves can feel all encompassing at times and it is in these moments, both the good and the bad, that I am often most aware of God’s presence.
But all of life cannot be lived in the extremes. There are many moments spent between the waves.
Hours of normal, commonplace activities. Days without big highs or lows, when I competently go through the motions of working and playing and resting without much awareness or felt need for God.
Sometimes in this space between, I feel self-sufficient and strong. Sometimes I feel aimless and lackadaisical. But one defining feature of those in-between moments is the struggle to feel God’s presence.
Even though God IS present. Even though God is still speaking.
Hebrews 3:7-8 says, "Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness.”
The wilderness was not an easy place to be. The time spent between pain-filled Egypt and the joy-filled Promised Land was marked by doubts, discontent, and blah-ness as the Israelites spent year after year aimlessly plodding through sand. They actually longed to return to slavery because the wilderness felt so difficult.
But God WAS present in the wilderness. God was still speaking.
God was in the steady constancy of the pillars of fire and cloud. God was in the daily provisions of water and manna. God was in the spoken words revealed through Moses.
God was present. God was speaking.
Our call in the wilderness, between the waves of highs and lows, is simply to listen with soft and malleable hearts. To remember Emmanuel, God with us, is always true, no matter what our feelings feel.
Lord, tune my heart to receive your presence and follow your guidance in the intense and the mundane moments that today brings.
Conclude with Stillness (2 minutes)