“For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven…
A time to tear down and a time to build up…
A time to be quiet
and a time to speak.”
Sometimes, what’s obvious is not what’s important.
2 am. The puppy’s barking. Matt jumps up to make it in time, to start this day as every other for the last month: a quick trip outside. Ten minutes and everyone’s settled back in. But like so many other nights, I don’t fall right to sleep so I sink back into my early morning time of prayer.
I’m thankful for these quiet hours to agree with heaven. Immediately my heart floods with thoughts of friends and family in the midst of difficulties and a world turned upside down with death and confusion. Even still, so much to thank my Father for. So many ways I see His mercy and love, His power and wisdom poured out. I barely start when, like a gentle touch on the shoulder, the Holy Spirit stops me.
“Be still. What do you hear?”
“What do you feel? Soak in this moment,” He whispers.
As I lay still, little details each take their turn at center stage in the dark room.
- Rain gently pelting the roof and bouncing off windows.
- Wind chimes singing in harmony.
- Matt’s measured breathing beside me. In. Out. In. Out.
- The soft, cool pillowcase under my neck.
- The weight of the comforter on my feet.
- The feel and sound of my own breath leaving my chest.
Remember that old saying: “Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees”? It’s a reminder to not get so entangled with details and forget the big picture. But what if we sometimes get so overwhelmed with the big picture we forget to enjoy the details? Details set in place by the Master Creator. Details pointing out where we stand and what’s important. Details reminding us that we’re alive. Details declaring His glory.Sometimes, what's obvious is not what's important. Click To Tweet
This wasn’t His first invitation to lean back into the moment. They’ve come over and over in recent weeks. Invitations to pause, to smile, to enjoy what might pass in the next breath.
- Moonlight through the clouds.
- Flavors that linger, sweet and spicy.
- Hugs that go deeper than skin.
- Dew in the morning and shadows making their way across afternoon hillsides.
There are two sides to every coin. Two points to every paradox.
The One Who said, “Ask…seek…knock…“ (Matthew 7:7) also said, “…your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!“ (Matthew 6:8)
The One Who leads us to “Pray without ceasing.“ (I Thes. 5:17) also calls us to “Be still…“ (Psalm 46:10).
Sometimes He just wants to hear the beat of your heart — and you to hear His. Sometimes He waits until you let all else fade so you can feel His hand squeeze yours. Sometimes your silent enjoyment of simple details gives Him greatest honor. There are plenty of prayers to pray. Countless horizons to speak truth to. But take a moment. Take a few. And lean into the details. Lean into the sounds and rhythms and smells. Hold them close, even for a moment, and thank the One Who gives you the ability to smile. He loves that.