This past month or so has been a very busy and emotional time for our family. Our eldest son recently sat his final high school exams, which as many will know, is a busy and emotional time for the whole family as you go through the ups and downs of their exam experiences, and as a parent come to terms with a child leaving school and becoming an independent adult.
During this time, my father-in-law became unwell and sadly passed away. We are thankful that he lived to the ripe old age of 95 and that he loved the Lord Jesus with all his heart.
After having a great first half of this year, I have found this latter half to have been much tougher. I have heard quite a few friends express a similar sentiment. Maybe your year has been a bit more difficult than expected too, or you have been, or are going through a difficult season, I just want to encourage you this Christmas season to “find yourself in the shadow of the almighty”.
Psalm 91 was my father-in-law’s favourite psalm and I have found much peace, comfort and strength in meditating on it these past few weeks
.“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge
and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart”
During busy and tough seasons sometimes things are happening so fast that we don’t have time to properly process them and I find an accumulation of things begin to build up in your heart – not necessarily bad things but just the “stuff” of life.
One of the beautiful things about meditation is that it allows you the opportunity to process the things that are happening in your life on a daily basis. We can give our “stuff” to God and He helps us to understand, process, forgive, let go and heal. But when we are very busy, worn-out, or going through a particularly difficult time we may not be able to process these things as fast as they are happening and an accumulation begins to grow in our heart.
And we find that we are longing for a good, long, one-on-one time with God to clear it all out.
I sat down in my meditation room one morning recently to do just that – have a good, long, one-one-one time with God and I thought about how we often talk about the Holy Spirit coming like a flood or “flooding our soul”. That’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted the Holy Spirit to flood my soul and wash away all the harsh things of life that had been so painful for my soul.
But the thought occurred to me; in the natural a flood leaves disaster, devastation and mess – especially if you are not prepared for it.
I would definitely NOT say the Holy Spirit leaves devastation and disaster but I would say that having a powerful encounter with Him often results in our having to clean up and get rid of some mess from our life. This is a good thing – the clean-up; getting rid of mess.
I realised the Holy Spirit was speaking to me about cleaning out the clutter that had accumulated in my heart and life. Not necessarily sin (although when I sort through I might find some of it is sin and I need to deal with that too) but just the mess that accumulates in busy-ness. I’m talking about heart issues – things that we haven’t had time to deal with or process; things like hurt, pain from things not working out the way we had hoped, sadness, disappointment, stress, anger etc.
When you’re busy and tired and don’t have time to deal with, and process heart issues they accumulate and at some point we all need to take time to sit with God and clear it all out.
There is nothing more soul restoring than just sitting and resting with God in His presence allowing Him to help you clear out the clutter and mess that has accumulated. And once you take the time to stop, be still, breathe and rest in the shadow of the almighty, He will go to work on your heart… healing and restoring your soul.
You will come out of your meditation time feeling much lighter, free, peaceful and calm. Our world becomes “right” again when we re-centre ourselves on Him.
I pray that this Christmas season, especially if you have had or are having a difficult year, that you would find yourself in the shadow of the almighty (Psalm 91); find a moment, maybe even today, just to sit, breathe and be still in His presence… because there is healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2).
God bless and praying a very happy and blessed Christmas for you and all your loved ones,