Have you ever gotten lost on a walk or on a drive? I remember when I was about 20 years old, my husband and I had just moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana (where he was attending college) and I needed to go grocery shopping after a long day at work. It was dark and I didn’t know my way around the city (this was in the days before cell phones or GPS). I had gone to an area of the city that was unfamiliar to me to shop and when I was done I took a wrong turn (in a wrong direction) and suddenly was I was absolutely lost. I didn’t have any coins for a pay phone and honestly didn’t know who’d I call anyway since my husband was at a night class and I didn’t know anyone in the area.
As I drove, looking for anything even remotely familiar, I began to feel panic— would I ever find my way home. I wasn’t in the city limits anymore and couldn’t even find my way back to a populated area. I had gotten off the “beaten path” and was lost and scared. After over two hours of frantic driving I finally found a familiar landmark and my way back to the college. When I arrived I got out of the car and walked to where my young husband was waiting and when I saw him I just fell in his arms weeping— I had found home— in his arms.
2021 began a bit like this for me personally. It felt like I walked out onto my favorite path but somehow turned a wrong corner and ended up in an unfamiliar wilderness with no path, no way to communicate, no sense of direction and completely alone. Quite honestly, I was disoriented and felt a bit of that old “panic” that I’d experienced when I was lost as a 20 year old in a strange city. I just wanted to find my way home.
I began spiritually and emotionally trying to find something familiar or a sign that would lead me back to the path that I knew— the path home. I would go through each day with varying degrees of numbness, grief, longing, surrender, weeping, etc. Nights were the worst because even the beautiful “God dreams” that accompanied my sleep had become nights of bad dreams. I’d wake up even more disoriented.
Finally, I remembered the words that are told to most young children by their parents, “If you get lost, stay still and I will find you.” So, I stopped trying to find my way home— the way back to the intimacy and the “home” I’d known. I stopped and got very still, waiting for my Father to find me where I was (am).
“Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:2
I finally stopped long enough to remember that God has never left me or forsaken me— so I stopped looking for a way out of the wilderness and am now finding him in the wilderness. I am drinking of him and learning to “calm and quiet my soul” in his arms.
It is just like that 20 year old who found home in the arms of her young husband, I am finding home in the arms of God, even in this unfamiliar and strange place. There is not much else in this place but he is everything that I need. The verse that comes directly prior to Psalm 131:2 says this,
“LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.” Psalm 131:1
I think that I had begun to concern myself with matters too great and too awesome for me to grasp. They began to be like a “master” over me. I had to humble myself and become like a child. I had to get still and remember that, “He is God.”
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
The matter of the nations had become to great for me to grasp. The matter of life and death was too awesome for me to fully comprehend and so God brought me into a wilderness place to show me “home.”
“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (Valley of Trouble) a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ Hosea 2:14-16
The wilderness does not “feel” good but as I have discovered a few other times in my life— this “Valley of Trouble” is usually a door of hope that restores my soul and ushers me into a place of greater abundance. But, we must embrace it rather than fight against it.
Running frantically when you have lost your way only gets you more lost. This is where we must stop, get still and know that he is God. He is with you in the wilderness and he will feed you, hold you, restore you and deliver you from every area that has become enslaved to false “masters.” This is where you find him as “husband.” This is where you run into his arms and find home. Then, you will hear this,
“Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved?” Song of Solomon 8:5
I think that all too often we take on things that “are too great for us to grasp” and they enslave us to a weight and burden that becomes a master over us. When we’ve done all we can do, it is time to get still and stand (Ephesians 6:13). Stand in who he is and stand in the arms of the One that created all. The earth is his and all that is within it. He is God— our partnership with him is in the context of “bridal covenant” not “slave and master.” That is where the enemy loses his footing and love wins.
Stop running…stop striving…stop panicking! Home is with you— right where you are. He is always with you so be still and let him hold you until you are fully restored— leaning on your Beloved!
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