Before making grocery lists, showering, and comparing agendas with my husband, I sit in the early morning hours reading the daily lectionary. And usually God highlights a word, a phrase, a sentence like holding a firm grip on my chin and pulling it toward his divine magnifying glass. It’s as if he is saying, “This is my heart for you today, pay attention to the details.”
I used to ponder and peruse the text then pass over it and carry on. Sometimes I share what God is giving me with my followers on Instagram. But it was happening so often, I started meditating with focus and writing down what I was learning in a journal. Once a week, I plan to share a meditation with you here on the blog.
Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah Psalm 77:9
Selah. It’s a curious word mentioned 74 times in the Bible yet scholars aren’t unified about the definition. Most agree that Selah means “pause and think about that.”
I am learning to train myself to pause and not only hear, but listen.
“Listening is the practice of focused attention. Hearing is an act of the senses, but listening is an act of the will. In listening you center not only your ears but also your mind, heart and posture on someone or something other than yourself. It is a chosen obedience, like soldiers falling into line the moment their commanding officer calls them to attention.” ~Adam McHugh, The Listening Life
Now whenever I come across Selah it’s like tripping over something on the ground. It slows me down and makes me look back. I want to understand what it really means before I travel onward.
I think of how often I am drowning in a sea of circumstance, crying out for rescue like the Psalmist and wondering if God has forgotten me in the silence. Rationally, I know that isn’t true and yet, doubt can convince me otherwise.
Maybe you are wondering if God has forgotten to be gracious to you too. You wonder if perhaps his face has turned toward something more important. You have translated silence from the heavenlies as anger suffocating His great compassion.
But this little verse in the Psalms is linked with this one from Isaiah.
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (v.15)
If you are a mother, you don’t have to have Selah in the text to pause and think about the answer.
It is impossible for God to forget you.
As we begin a new week, may we inhale all the cares of life knowing that God’s love is the exhale. He knows what you think before you think it; he breathes life and purpose over every single messy detail you have dotted in your journal.
When anxiety threatens to swirl into your second cup of coffee, may you remember that God knows about what makes your hands shaky and what causes your stomach to churn with anxiety. He will be hands on your shoulders, steering you in the right direction. He cares about what you care about. It is impossible for Him to forget about you.