From my office window, I watch the nose of a plane thread through cloud cover like a needle pulling through fabric above a row of terrace houses. The roar of the engine reminds me that life is a journey though I’ve been stationary in front of a blinking cursor for hours.
Book tents and open journals on my desk frame an empty tea cup and blooming African violet. The evidence of inspiration is right in front of me but my mind is snagged for days on a conversation with my daughter. An innocent, random, heartwarming conversation translated as “all the ways I fall short as a parent.” Tears begin puddling.
Like Hannah, I can get so tangled up in identifying my lack that I miss the signs of God’s love standing in the room. Knowing God as provider in my heart doesn’t match the scarcity mentality flowing from my mouth.
“I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” (I Samuel 1:15)
If the Truth we know in the heart doesn’t match how we live, we have mistakenly, unintentionally, and innocently believed in self-reliance over God’s love and faithfulness.
Allow circumstances to be an indicator of the Truth and make false conclusions like Eli. Or translate circumstances as an invitation to experience the Truth and be set free like Hannah.
“Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” (I Samuel I:17)
God is sending love letters by way of divine arrows, pointing to what may seem like random details but are significant signposts of his covenant with us. (page 131, Rhythms of Rest)
As I replay the conversation with my daughter on the flat screen a few days earlier, cataloging the things she needs that I am unable to provide while living an ocean away in London, the doorbell rings interrupting the caustic cacophony. I spiral downward 32 steps, reach the front door and open it.
Two girls her age stand on the front stoop, smiling.
They explain a dilemma: Work for a production company in my neighborhood has them knocking on doors in search of a kitchen to film an advert. And the client, they say quietly, is very particular. Might I be interested in allowing them to film in my kitchen for a sum of money?
“Come in,” I tell them, “I have just been cleaning up.”
As I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I notice my red, splotchy face is now clear and luminous with God’s favor.
On the day we choose to abide on Sabbath, God appears like a gift delivered on our doorstep or an arrow shooting across a cloudless sky. Rhythms of Rest
Download your free printable July calendar with prompts from the seventh chapter of Rhythms of Rest and keep persevering in making rest realistic, not just miraculous. If you know you need rest but struggle to know how to find margin in your busy life, join the Grace Table Summer Book Club here and find practical help. I’ll be joining club members live to answer questions and provide mentoring in finding your unique rhythm of rest beginning today, Friday, June 30.