SELAH

I sat with my feet dangling over the edge of the rough brick wall, my heartbeat and breath still in synch with the rhythm of my run, and looked out over the bulky, steadily moving river beneath me. I let the water fill my vision. To my left, beyond what my eyes could see, was the source of the flow, and to my right the river disappeared beyond a bridge and a tight bend. Normally, I run by this river and don’t give it much notice. I actually avoid getting too close because it’s murky color makes me apprehensive and I know that it is surrounded by swarms of mosquitos. But today, it seemed to beckon me, not with it’s beauty but with it’s depth. It invited me to stop and allow all the Jesus-moments, stresses, revelations, and chaos of the last two weeks to fall into place. Finally, I was still. Finally, everything started to make sense. Finally, I could embrace and revel in what God is doing in my life.

Selah.

As I sat reflecting, I realized the irony of the fact that God had already used the analogy of a river to speak to me this week. It was in an article I read by a woman named Lana Vawser and she was sharing a Word from God about a river of rest. The article resonated with me in countless ways but the part that brought tears to my eyes as I sat by the river was a simple declaration that I barely noticed the first time I read it. “As (the people) were floating along [the river] in this strong and powerful current, I noticed that many of their eyes were closed. The peace is SO deep, the trust is SO deep in Jesus, that there’s NO FEAR. They don’t even need to ‘SEE’ where they are going. They just know they are held by Him and He is leading them.” And I could picture myself just floating down the river right there, under the bridge in the distance, with a peaceful smile on my face, completely surrendered to what God is doing and where He is taking me, completely at rest in the midst of the strong currents. Not only did I realize the beauty of that picture and the rest I’m offered, but my heart felt it. Complete rest. Complete stillness.

Selah.

The almost childish picture of me floating down the river reminded me of another picture of rest. One of the missionaries here had a baby last month, and this week she brought her to team prayer. She was sleeping but I got to hold her for about half an hour, her tiny fragile body weighing on my chest. She was warm and I could feel her slow, steady breaths moving her body. I had a long to do list that I needed to get started on before lunch but in that moment it didn’t feel overwhelming or urgent. I didn’t want to move and I didn’t feel like I needed to. My mind, spirit, and body were all at rest at the same time for the first time in a couple of weeks and again I saw the irony of the moment: little baby Haven had reminded me what it feels like to rest in God, my haven and refuge, no matter what is happening around me.

Selah.

As a result of the strain I have put on it with teaching, leading worship, and the weather here in Thailand, this entire week I have been having problems with my voice. My throat has been hurting and for the last few days my voice has been squeaking, rasping, or not making any sound at all. Yet, I have been stubbornly pushing through, expecting to wake up each morning with the ability to speak and sing clearly. Well that hasn’t happened. Finally today, less then an hour before my run, with some persuasion from some concerned friends, I decided I needed to just stop talking. I had been making sure my mind and my spirit were getting rest throughout the week and it was due time for my voice to get some rest. This too is such a powerful, divinely appointed happening. I can’t get better by striving. I can only get better by resting. There’s no other way. Just like the best way to get down the river is by surrendering to the current and floating, not by striving and swimming against it. There’s healing in the river of His rest when I don’t strive against it.

Selah.

As I have been reading the Psalms in this season, that word has stood out on the page. I haven’t researched it in great depth and I am not going to try to reference the Hebrew lexicon to tell you about it, but theres something powerful about it. Its indefinability and its ability to be packed full of meaning. You can research for yourself what the scholars think it means, but to me Selah can’t be defined in the single dimension of vocabulary, it is defined by a moment or moments in time. Selah can be defined by my moment by the river or holding little baby Haven.  Selah is the moment of peace when you are filled with awe at the greatness of our God. Selah is the moment where all the chaos of life that surrounds you makes sense in the light of who God is and what He’s doing. Selah is the pause. Its the reflection. Its the quiet soul. Its the wonder of your spirit.

I’m learning to leave room for Selah moments in my life. I don’t want them to only be initiated by outward experiences, but I want them to easily flow from within me. I want my heart to synch to the rhythm of Selah, filled with constant rest and awe of who God is, no matter what is happening around me.

Join me! Jump into the river and allow His rest to carry you!

Selah.

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