Rainy days always make for good days to spend in the presence of God. Soft clothes, coffee, candles, snuggly blankets and the quiet just seem to usher in His presence more easily. Maybe it’s because the hustle and bustle of the usual day to day activities in my life are easier to put on hold on rainy days, or maybe the quiet rainfall softens and slows my heart. Whatever the reason, I found myself sitting in my office this morning begging God to come and abide with me. I listened to the rise and fall of my own breath in rhythm with the rain and the gentle breeze. A peace began to settle over my heart, mind and soul that deepened with every breath I took. I found myself settling in and cocooning myself within a feeling of pure love, grace, and mercy. He was here, Emmanuel, God with me. I knew I was safe and secure in the palm of His hand and that there was nothing I couldn’t reveal to Him that He didn’t already know.
The feeling of being known on that level is liberating. There is no secret that is hidden, no thought that is too much, no feeling that is dismissed or ignored...just love and acceptance for all that I am and all that I feel and all that I need. Why do we not run to that place more often? Why does it take a catastrophe or a crisis to seek that level of intimacy with God? I began to pour my heart out to Him and with every confession, every word of praise, and every request I felt a complete acceptance from Him. I felt unconditional love and grace and mercy. I knew that He understood the condition of my frail heart and my greedy flesh and in spite of it all, He still chose to make His presence known to me.
My bible fell open to 2 Samuel 7:18-29 (NLT). It is a praise from David and it completely resonated with me in the space I was in at that very moment.
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And now, Sovereign Lord, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign Lord?
20 “What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like, Sovereign Lord. 21 Because of your promise and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known to your servant.
22 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 23 What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations and gods that stood in their way. 24 You made Israel your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.
25 “And now, O Lord God, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. Confirm it as a promise that will last forever. 26 And may your name be honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is God over Israel!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever.
27 “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer to you because you have revealed all this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings!’ 28 For you are God, O Sovereign Lord. Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 And now, may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you have spoken, and when you grant a blessing to your servant, O Sovereign Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”
I know what the Lord has done for me and it is immeasurably more than I could ever ask for or imagine, yet even still He continues to bless, and to teach, and to abide with me. Is there any greater privilege than to be known by the Creator of the Universe and to be accepted completely just as we are? Even then, He doesn’t leave us there, but calls us into a deeper relationship with Him where He can refine and purify all that is within us and continue the process of returning us to the Original Design of who we were created to be all for His glory.
Will you sit with Him today? Will you let Him examine your heart and its motives? He is gentle and kind and He would love nothing more than to spend a day with you if you are willing! If you need a space to find a quiet sanctuary with God, we invite you to join us this Friday for a day retreat on the Daily Examen. We will teach you specific ways through prayer to interact with the Holy Spirit so that He can show you His movement in your life. We hope to see you this Friday at the Well!
Day Retreat Registion: http://soulwellministries.com/registration-the-swj