Surprised by God's Gentleness
I recently came through a season of juggling too much. The summer was filled with a move to Portland, buying and setting up a home, transitioning to a different cadence of life brought on by Conor's new job, making new friends and setting up our lives. In the midst of it, I'd let small things become large and large things overtake me. I was searching for God in the midst of it, but my spirit was too preoccupied with the juggling to be quiet and listen.
The only step I felt like I could take was to find a spiritual director and commit to regular meetings.
During a visit she led me through an exercise, asking me to let God speak through my imagination. She asked me to pick a place to be with Jesus and ask him what I needed in this season. My mind filled with a picture of us together in the Georgia Highlands, reclining in Adirondack chairs facing the back of Whiteside mountain, a place I used to visit each year. Just sitting in his presence, a sense of peace washed over me.
As we gazed up at the mountain, I asked him what I needed in this season. With gentleness and surety, He turned to me and answered that I needed rest.
He held his arms out and I knew he was reaching to take the load of heavy tasks and roles I'd been juggling. When I handed the clunky load to him, they shrank down in his arms, small and light. Finally, my spiritual director nudged me to ask if Jesus had anything to give me in return. When I turned to him, he opened his arms for a hug and in it I felt every clenched muscle in my body relax.
The gentleness and steadiness of his demeanor towards me struck me deeply. As I reflected later on that interaction, it made me realize that though I'd expected him to offer me rest and take my burdens, I was bracing for it to come with the slightest mostly imperceptible roll of an eye. I'd expected him to be weary or exasperated by my inability to trust him, because that was certainly how I felt about myself. There are times I need a way to challenge my expected view of God. By meeting God in my imagination, a space where he actively pursues me and reveals himself, I've been able to envision God's true posture towards me, what his true response to my humanness is.
I invite you to ask God what his TRUE posture is towards you right now.
Maybe you also will be surprised by what God has for you.