I’ve been hearing the word over and over again. Not just from the Lord to me–but Jesus calling out to his bride …
The word is relevant to all of us. Whether you’ve taken a tiny step away from his presence by giving in to a momentary distraction, or if you’ve been running fast and furiously away from him for days (or weeks, or months, or years…), his invitation is the same …
“Return” has taken on new meaning for me over the last few years . It’s been a totally different kind of season. A season without the “built-in” safety nets of the past. A season of transition and rest. A season where Jesus wasn’t requiring much of anything from me. It was hard to find my bearings. It was hard to find my “place.” It was startling to realize how easy it was to drift–just a small thought here; or a tiny choice there–after all who knew? Who cared?
Well, I found out who cared … I did. (And, of course, he did too.)
Looking back, it was quite possibly the biggest test of my faith to date …
- The test to remain wholehearted–even when no one knew the difference.
- The test to remain passionate–when so many of the things I was passionate about had been stripped away.
- The test remain intentional–even in rest.
- The test to keep believing and dreaming–in the midst of heartbreaking loss and disappointment.
- The test to be content in all circumstances–without becoming complacent.
I didn’t always pass the tests. Not by a long shot. But there is one test I did pass. Whenever I heard his invitation … whenever I saw his open arms … before I ever got too far away… the one thing (maybe the only thing) I consistently did right was this …
How about you? Whatever your circumstances, where are you headed right now? Are you leaning in or away? Do you hear him calling? Do you see his open arms? Are you ready to respond? Are you ready to …
Note: I wrote (and posted) the following poem last November. It seemed to fit so well with where my heart and thoughts have been lately that I’ve posted it again below. I’ve also attached a link to a song (I Will Return by Misty Edwards) that has spoken deeply to my heart on many occasions over the past few years …
ReturnReturn Return to Me Turn around; change your mind Return to My heart; return to My peace Take your thoughts captive to the Truth Silence the lies of the accuser– Return and rest Rest Rest in Me Step out of the commotion Inhale–breathe in the soothing aroma of My presence Exhale–breathe out the perplexity and the pain Embrace the beautiful communion of silence– Return and rest in quietness Quiet Quiet your weary soul Be still and remember Remember the richness of our history together Proven faithfulness; love beyond words Open arms always longing to hold you– Return and rest in quiet trust Trust Trust in Me Trust in Me with all of your heart Lean into My arms of grace When you can’t hold on; I’ll still hold you If your trust falters; I’ll still trust you … I’ll trust you to return In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength. –Isaiah 30:15 *******
Just a note about the following link. This isn’t a very well-known song, so this is the only link I could find. Some of the lyrics are listed wrong … VERY wrong! Seriously, “you’ll find me in the MUD“?! Um, I think it is, “you’ll find me in the night” 🙂 At any rate enjoy … and return!