I just finished the book, "Better Than My Dreams" by Paula Rinehart. This book has really spoken to me. In the last chapter she says, "For the truth is that this journey you're on is also a dance. Only it is God who wants to dance with you. He wants to take you out into life on His arm. That will pull you from every back alley where you've found life in anything but Him. But in this dance, you'll come to know Him. While it takes half a lifetime to grasp this - truly, the prize isn't the fulfillment of our dreams; it's the fellowship with Him. He is, as the parable claims, the hidden treasure worth selling all we own to possess. From the ashes of our expectations comes an intimacy with him, an actual pleasure of His company. Letting go of what we thought we needed and entering life as a journey, a dance with God, is a grace-filled rite of passage." *
The journey, thus far, has not looked like I thought it would. I started out my walk with Him as a performance driven, striving, busy, religious woman. I wanted to know God, so I studied Him. My heart was right, my method flawed. Somehow I got the mentality that I needed to do God like I did life... Work hard, try to do all the right things and maybe you'll become what you're studying. You know God doesn't waste anything. He uses even our flawed methods to His advantage.
The more I saw of Him, the more I wanted Him. The problem is I was dancing alone. I see a stunning partner standing on the sidelines, waiting for me to stop dancing. He walks over and invites me to learn how to dance as a couple with Him as the lead. He invites, I accept. The dance begins.
This new found rest is so foreign to me that sometimes it feels like laziness. Was I being lazy? My quiet times are no longer disciplined. My prayer life is no longer a "must do". My journaling is sporadic, often, there are no words. It feels so much like disobedience that I wonder...is it me?
So I ask Him. And He answers. "You're settling in." "You haven't turned to away." "You're still with me." "It's OK when you don't have words. I read your heart, your thoughts." "This is what stillness feels like." He gave me a picture of a little girl settling into her Father's arms and resting.
I am reminded of my own children when they were young. Exhausted, but unable to let go and rest they would flounder and squirm in my arms, wanting to be free and on their own. My tight grip would hold them until they settled. Eventually they would stop struggling and surrender to the arms enfolding them. Soon they settled down to a peaceful rest.
Papa invited me into the dance of stillness. I really didn't have a clue what it looked like. I just knew He had invited me. Hand in His I allowed Him to move me forward, one step at a time. Sometimes it was painful and grueling. Oftentimes I felt unsure and lost. What I didn't see was that in the midst of the dance my heart was coming alive. The more He led me, the more I changed. He saw me, knowing what was inside me, hidden underneath the striving, performing flesh. As we danced, He emptied me of those self-reliant places. He became God in me.
I am settling into His embrace. It's not what I do, it's where I am. In His embrace He does what is necessary through me. Jesus said, "Come follow Me and I will make." I can cease from my striving and be. He is God. Once again He speaks to me, "Jewel, I would rather have you settled into me, putting forth no effort than running about doing things and not settled in and at rest. It's OK to rest in the embrace." "Rest, dear one." "I'll draw you in."
It's it really that simple? Yes! As we rest in His embrace, following Him, allowing Him to be God through us, we become all that He meant us to be. So, I say to you what He says to me, "Be still, dear one, and know I am God."
"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
* "Better Than Your Dreams, Finding What You Long For Where You Might Not Think To Look" by Paula Rinehart
©copyrighted 2008 by Julie L. Todd