I love the opening verse to Psalm 27 from The Message:
“Light, space, zest—
So, with him on my side I’m fearless,
afraid of no one and nothing.”
… that’s what life with God is all about.
Would you use those three words to describe your sense of life as it is at the moment – especially with the holiday season so nearly upon us?
Or can you relate more to the image of vandal hordes riding down upon you; devouring your energy, your time, your money, your peace of mind?
Perhaps you are particularly conscious at the moment of the bullies and toughs putting pressure upon you in subtle and not so subtle ways to conform to their plans or desires or schedules at this busy time of year at the expense of your own heart’s longing.
Maybe the words “enemy” or “wicked” bring to mind a distinct face despite your best attempts to love your neighbour as yourself.
Quite possibly the Psalmist’s reference to parental abandonment might trigger feelings of loneliness or neglect quite contrary to the proclaimed love and peace of the Christmas period.
a level road to walk on,
a smooth path at our feet …
… this may not look at all like the life that you are living but it is the life that God longs for for you:
a peaceful and whole life where we can linger unhurried in God’s presence and find certainty and security far from the noise of the world and the buzz of the traffic and the clamour of our “it’s-never-enough-you’re-never-enough” culture …
… where who God is and what God’s done are all we ever want; and the rest of it – well, the rest of it unfolds and falls into place as we seek to live with a deep and abiding sense of the sufficiency of God’s presence to see us through all things.
As the prophet Isaiah (in chapter 26:15) speaks of God’s glory in enlarging the nation, in expanding the borders of the land, he offers a prophetic vision not only of the love of God breaking through the geographical and cultural boundaries of the nation of Israel but of Christ coming in order that you and I might have life to its fullest ….
Light, space, zest,
a living that is larger than our current experience of life ….
And it all begins by replying to that whisper in our hearts, “seek God!” with the whole-hearted response, “I’m seeking him right now!” (Psalm 27:8).
Those in the early church deliberately allowed God to enlarge their life experience by devoting themselves to times of teaching, fellowship, meal-sharing and prayer (Acts 2:42).
They reveal an intentionality about seeking God from which we can learn if we truly long for a life full of light, of space, of zest.
Begin to think about moments in this season and the year ahead in which you can express your longing for God.
You may want to protect some space by putting into your year plan and diary times that you will intentionally seek God’s presence and linger in God’s light.