Pause in His presence...
I’ve been working my way through the Psalms for a while now. I just love how David had a way of being completely vulnerable and real before the Lord. The intimacy portrayed in every Psalm has encouraged me to break my heart open before Jesus, to say when something is unfair or when I’m discouraged… To share my loneliness, disappointments, struggles, victories and praises with my Father. David was engaging in a continuous conversation with God, as with a dear friend.
Throughout the Psalms we find a simple five letter word: “Selah.” I used to read over it, not paying much attention to it. But this time around this word stopped me in my tracks, and I felt an urgency to dig into the meaning of this word.
“Selah” occurs a total of 71 times throughout the Psalms. The true meaning of this small word is still a mystery, and Bible scholars have come up with multiple explanations. Some of these include “silence”, “to pause” or “intermission”. It’s connected to musical notation leading the choirmaster to pause, and leading us as readers of scripture to pause and ponder over what was just read.
To understand the meaning and mystery behind this word, has brought a new rhythm to reading the Psalms. But I think it also brought about a new rhythm to the way I approach life.
After all, if we just read through scripture without pausing to meditate over the meaning of the words and allowing the seeds to fall on the soil of our hearts - what growth and fruit will follow? I think the Psalmist was very intentional in adding this phrase to remind us over and over again of the importance of pausing in God’s presence. To spend time at His feet, breathing in His rest - this is how we find meaning and this is how we get the seeds we need to carry on and to grow.
This year has been one wild rollercoaster of a ride. Sometimes I couldn’t figure out if I was going up or down, left or right… It had crazy turns and surprises. Reflecting now, I don’t even recognise myself at the beginning of 2019. This year has changed me. It has changed the way I see myself, how I perceive my circumstances, how I approach my relationships… It has moulded and moved me to take action, to be bold, to trust and have faith even when the realities want to crush my spirit. This year was a vehicle to extreme growth. I cherish the tests failed and passed, and know the worth of true surrender. But I also know the worth of pausing in His presence.
This was the most powerful lesson I have learned throughout this year. Pausing. Not frantically running around and trying to control outcomes. But just taking a breath, quieting down in His presence. He was so faithful to meet me in the stillness. To dust me down, dry off the tears and restore my soul.
So, as we approach the festive season and everything is slowing down, may you take the time to pause in His presence. May you find restoration and joy in the waiting. May He make melodies over your restless soul in the quiet, and silence every fear of what’s to come. Rejoice over the battles won, and find rest in gratitude for every test and trying time. There’s so much beauty ahead.
It’s going to be a good year.