This is day 16 in a new series: 31 Letters from London. In October, I’m doing something a little different and writing to you about the realities of life as an expat; finding the nearness of God through random experiences with new culture. It’s important to begin here and find the collection of letters here. We’re breaking for Sabbath every Sunday.
As I focus on writing chapters of my book in the Cotswolds this week, I’m sharing Daily Thoughts originally broadcast on Premier Christian Radio. You can listen to it here. Slide cursor to minute 30:58 to hear me.
One week after we moved from Arizona to North Carolina, a hurricane threatened to hit our small coastal community. My first thought? God you surely didn’t just move my family across the country to wipe us out.
Moving from the Arizona desert, a hurricane was something my family had only experienced by watching the world news on television or reading the day’s headlines on the internet.
Our life was still in boxes throughout every room of our new house, nonetheless, we had to stop and prepare for the worst to happen.
Twenty-four hours before the eye of the hurricane landed, grocery store shelves emptied, bath tubs were filled with water, and propane tanks on barbecues were loaded in case of a power outage.
Wide-eyed with wonder, we didn’t know it at the time but our entire community was practicing a forced Selah. A pause in our lives that made us think with sober attention and gain much needed perspective.
Thankfully, “No, I didn’t” was God’s answer to my question about wiping us out.
While wind whipped furiously through the woods surrounding our brand new house, I took a nap while waiting for the storm to pass. Luckily, the result of 100 mph wind blowing consistently for hours was only a messy garden for us. But some of the furniture we moved from Arizona was sent on to a family whose living room became a swimming pool. Just a few miles away, people weren’t as fortunate.
Later, the builder of our home stopped by to check on our house for any damage from the hurricane. He told us he spent the day playing board games with his children, the first time he’d had a day like that to be with his family in ages. He desperately needed rest and the hurricane gave him permission.
Ninety-six percent of the time Selah is mentioned in the Psalms, there is a definitive topic addressed and a heart change afterward. Renewed direction, increased faith, deeper appreciation for God’s direction.
God used the forced pause of a hurricane to reorient our thinking toward His power , presence and sovereignty over us.
Today, can you look at unwanted interruptions to your life, not as an inconvenience and a nuisance, but a pause God may be using to get your attention? God may be reorienting your mind toward what matters most; allowing you to see the big picture of your life with grand perspective and renewed clarity.
Selah. Pause and think about that.