We’re the kind of late that makes you wonder if you should even go at all. I have a child whose heart is bleeding in the back seat and another whose diaper I forgot to change before we left. I drive over the spout of the garden hose on the way out and wonder if this one, too, will be irreparable — like the last one I did this to. “Figures” I mutter in my mind.
Rewind six or eight years. The scenery was different, the internal hum was the same. The car started fuming white smoke the same day we got an unexpected medical bill and our adoption paperwork hit another snag in the system. “Figures,” comes up and out — bouncing around in my mind as if to say: you always get the short end of the stick.
What do you do with a lifetime bad habit of inhaling false thoughts like they’re as natural as air?
Me — the former worst-case scenario thinker, the one who could live for hours in her head all around one ever-growing lie — I adore.
Everyone has at least one, and most a half dozen or more:
Life-reasons, my reasons, to believe that God is not good — to believe that God is not who He says He is.
They are a hidden handicap. We carry them around negligently, as if we can live life fully alive and still have them. Yet the whole of our perspective and interactions are first filtered through the lens of this unanswered question. Is He good … to me?
I have had many “not yets” in my life. My Dad was never healed of cancer and my womb knows well the echo of barrenness. There are other “not yets”, if you can believe, even more personal than this. The ones most powerful are the ones closest to our chest, hidden from the world but not to God.
The cloudy eye-glass is indiscriminate. My calling, my family, my friendships, my view of Jesus are all subject first to how I see Him in light of my “not yet.”
Without God’s encounter, they are toxic for my heart. And for those of us whose mouths say “God is good” but live with the looming uncertainty of this very thing, the sickness takes even deeper root.
This is why I adore.
This is why I have to adore.**
Simply put: adoration is reading, praying, saying, singing God’s Word back to Him, in our own language.
Adoration is perspective-training for the weak-hearted and the messy. (For the ones, just like me, who want desperately to move from “figures” to “You are here, right now, God.”)
Need some perspective training today? Here’s a place in His Word where I’m starting today — putting His Words in my mouth:
The God of Safe-Keeping
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me. Psalm 27:5
You tuck me away inside of You. Perfect hiding place, You are. My life releases a sigh in the sight of You who made me.
I adore You, God of safe-keeping, safe-hiding.
You don’t stand distant in the face of my trouble, You reach in. You engage. You retrieve.
I want to run and hide, but You tell me: come and hide. Trouble that makes me shrink back initiates a different response from You. I cower, You hold. You surround. You protect.
Trouble is my invitation into Your deep cave.
When the world has words for my wounds, You cup Your hands around my pain and You hide me in the only safe place for healing: You. Your pavilion is You. I am introduced to the luxury of Your deep when I bury my head in the truth of Your person and Your Godhead, when I retreat to Your home.
Secrets of You become my own to keep. When life on the outside stops working, You pour out treasures on my inside. You’re a well to be explored, a secret tabernacle.
I adore You God who offers new of You when the old in me has left me leveled. When I hide in You, I expand. When I hide in You, my understanding of You expands.
You don’t just keep me, retain me — You grow me. When I look at You, I swell. Each long stare cultivates what once was my bone dry heart.
To be made safe in You means to increase. You increase in me and my heart increases as I fold myself up in You.
I can’t look at You and walk away unchanged.
I love You, oh my Hiding place.**
** These are both excerpts of a 16 Day Walk Through Adoration. As a gift to those who pre-order Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, Zondervan has turned this 16 Day Walk Through Adoration into a beautiful devotional. And for the next 16 days, the group of us adoring God over here are using this as our guide, ’cause how else do you start a new habit, but for one day (or sixteen) at a time. If you’ve pre-ordered Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet and would like to have the devotional to guide you through the next 16 days of adoration, send an email to EBTISbook@gmail.com with a copy of your proof of purchase.
Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet will be available in stores on October 7th. The team at Zondervan has also put together a compilation of printables from some of the favorite blog posts in these parts.
To receive both of these two gifts (adoration devotional and the printables), please email a copy of your proof of purchase to: EBTISbook@gmail.com
Images for printables and in this post compliments of Mandie Joy (the girl is good).