When did I first begin abiding? I can barely remember. But I know it was some years back now. I can picture the kitchen of the home I was living in at the time.
I can remember the difficulties within my own walls. I remember the years of profound sadness. I remember loneliness. But over all that I remember this abiding place with Jesus that superseded all of it.
I learned to ‘be’ during those years. To sit in pain, to allow sorrow and to just be beside my God and he alongside me. Such sweet remembrance, such a sweet smell to it, even now.
In abiding I learned to trust. Abiding gave me strength beyond myself. In abiding I found clarity and self-awareness. Wisdom.
Abiding taught me to enter into each moment fully and completely. This moment, at this exact intersection of life, holds it’s own peace if we will only stop long enough our souls and fretting to find it.
Abiding taught me this.
The folds of the Lord’s train (you know, the one that fills the temple), has ample space for all of us to abide there. Wrapped up in his glory, set apart for his work, pressed down with gladness, imparted with giggles, smothered in heaven’s kisses – these are the gifts of abiding.
Rest. Deep rest.
Where our souls stop thrashing for significance. Where our souls learn to enjoy oneself. Where souls relish in the beauty of each other – where we are really seen and able to really see.
Abiding has no agenda other than fellowship and rest.
Abiding brings the gift of loosing off old pain. Like well-worn slippers our pain abides in the cracks and crevices of our being, but abiding loosens all this and like birds trapped for too long in some gilded cage pain has its time to fly away. Free.
I’m talking in riddle and rhyme today, for I’ve not normal words to speak the beauty of abiding. The depths of my soul moves in cadence and light and shadows, rhythm and song, and there simply are not words.
But this I do know. Learn to abide in the presence of the most high God. Bring your whole self, leave nothing behind or hidden.
Enter into intimacy, be drawn to his glory, risk to share it all with the one who knows it all. Walk with God. Sit with God.
It’s not all about beauty or what is right, in fact, until we learn to abide in the ugly and sorrowful I’m not so sure we are able to enter beauty in.
We must allow brokenness if we are to bring healing to others – abiding has taught me this also.
We easily offer God our successes when what he really wants are our failures. Those exact places that haven’t gone well but where we’ve learned to do it with him. Abide in this place and nothing is scary anymore.
Abide in this place and everything begins to make sense.
Bring to God every thought you have. Every longing. Every shame. Every hope. Every crazy-no-good-ridiculous hearts desire.
All of it, every part, is sweet incense and offering and smells sweet to God. We don’t have to make it pretty, that’s his job. We must just show up in the throne room of heaven ready to sit on our Father’s knee.
Entrust it all to him today. And everyday. You won’t be the same.
I guarantee it.