Thursday, June 7, 2012

When God Totally Surrounds Us

Closing my eyes, i laid my head back on the river tube, listening to all the "commotion" around me. It was comical. Voices, old and young, rambling on in so many different nonsensical dialogues:
"mama, give me that..."
"did you see it?!?!"
"throw me that rope son...?
"she said she would never...?
"where is he?
"i'm gonna...
"stop splashin' me
"i'm so tired of the way she acts...
"don't throw that...
on and on and on and on the chatter went.

No one saying anything that really mattered ---- but everyone having something to say.

It wasn't that i was irritated --- not at all. It unfolded into a profound few minutes.

When i laid my head back on the tube and closed my eyes it came to me clear. Because when i then opened my eyes, they looked straight up (they no longer were caught up in what was around me), and guess what was in front of me...
Big, overwhelming blue skies and perfectly peaceful green tree limbs waving their shimmery leaves -- far "above".

The size of the silent presence overhead was breathtaking ------- the "rattling" of the tiny things around me was suffocating.

And i thought ---
how just like God...
He's so magnificently big --- even with no word at all --- He is felt, He is known, He reminds us --- He is with us. No rambling on and on. No idle words with Abba. The silence of the deep blue sky was speaking so loudly --- as long as i kept my focus on it.
To lay my head back on the tube as i floated down the river with these gazillion other people --- was the most comfortable way. Holding my head up, watching all the activity around me, trying to keep up with who said what and who was where ---- was so tiring to my neck. (the part of myself that holds up the protective covering over my thinking brain and turns this way or that to allow my eyes to see)
But when i relaxed that weary neck and laid my head back to rest ---- blue skies seemed to greet me, like an old, safe, good friend. No idle words, no chatter, no noise of any sort, just the occasional bird dancing by and the steady passing of brown-limbed-greened-leaved guardians of peace.

Steve and i just read it again this morning in Oswald's My Utmost for His Highest and i was taken back to my innertube moments on the river. Oswald writes, "The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about God. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child's awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In the same way, we are to 'live and move and have our being' in God (Acts. 17:28), look at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.
"If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives -- not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy."

A line worth repeating --- "How can we DARE to be so absolutely unbelieving when GOD totally SURROUNDS US?"

I felt it --- i knew it --- God with us ---- in the deep, wide, silent blue sky overhead. Without a word -- He reminded me --- "I'm big donna, vastly big, bigger than your eye can see. I was here yesterday, i'm here today, i'll be here tomorrow. I was present before you, i'll be here long after you. Clouds may change your perception of me, but i will not have changed. Darkness may come between us, but remember My words to you ---- ' yay, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will be with you...'  I'm never absent, I'm always present, I'm never inattentive, but I'm not noisy. I choose a still small voice usually, I rarely choose to be loud."

Many of the voices i heard, with my eyes closed and my head laid back on the innertube, were voices of worry or fretting. Phrases like, "grab him, she's falling, watch that rock, he's going under"...
On and on the voices poured out concerns, problems, worries, difficulties.

I was mesmerized by the contrast of what was around me and what was above me.

It became pivotal for me.

The voices and activity around me were a perfect picture of the rambling and wrecklessness that can happen inside of me. Thinking to much, wondering over solutions, pondering over options, worrying over outcomes. Oh God --- my silent rambling must surely sound much like the scattered chatter of these out-loud people around me. Oh God --- how i forget the unaltering cover of You, the unchanging purposes You are working to accomplish, the sure authority in Your hands, the certain outcomes You author.
Oswald's got it right ---- "If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives -- not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us?"

Sarah Young in "Jesus Calling" tries to remind us using words based on scripture as if Abba Himself were whispering to us -- "I am all around you, like a cocoon of Light. My presence with you is a promise, independent of your awareness of Me. Many things can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry... Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have good reason to worry. But if it is I, then worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive."

And then i open HIS WORD and feel His touch as i read,
"What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself." Luke 12: 29-32 The Message
(bold font and underline added by me)

The clammering around us this side of the veil --- will likely never stop. We're told in the Bible it will increase until the trumpet blows.
But the sureness of Yahweh with us can be felt in the mightiness of the vast sky overhead.
It is silent.
It is over everything --- whether it is noticed by all that it covers or not.
We often falsely believe that beginnings happen when we enter into the awareness of something. With Abba, we are far too tiny for that.
We are the fleck of dust that is blessed to finally drift through the glowing light pouring in through the window. We are undetectable until we drift into the Light. Abba is the Light.

The noisiness of what is in front of us must be harnessed and put in its place ----
for how could we dare to worry or be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us?

Thankful for a patient, gracious, loving Abba --- who is not altered in any way by my smallness.

©2012 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe

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