While reading Psalm 116 this morning, I was touched by the image of God bending down to listen to my heart.
“I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.” Psalm 116:1-2 NLT
God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth bending down to hear my heart is a beautiful and humbling image that reminds me of James Weldon Johnson’s poem “The Creation.” In his poem, he describes God this way:
“Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;”
Both images personify the love parents have for their children. God’s love is so much greater, but a loving parent is as close as we come to His love in this world.
God doesn’t need to bend down to hear us, and He certainly didn’t need to kneel down in the mud to create us; but both poets knew the power of those images.
God bends and kneels just as we bend and kneel to listen to our children. We want them to feel our presence, and we want to be nearer to them. God knows our hearts better than we do and listens even when our voices are loud with anger or quietly drowning in sorrow. He also knows we will eventually be quiet and hear Him, so He waits for us to finish so He can fill our hearts with His love and desires for us.
When I finally do come to stillness, His loving presence is always waiting. Sometimes that happens in minutes, and sometimes it takes a decade. He waits patiently for me to be still long enough for Him to pick me up, hold me in His arms, and let me know how much I am loved. He loves those sweet moments as much as I do because there’s nothing better than having our children near.
That’s why as long as I have breath, I will continue to pray ❤️
As I cleaned, packed, and unpacked yesterday, I thought of how much stuff I have. Ten years ago, I made an important step in the right direction. It was freeing to leave my stuff behind, but I wouldn’t have if given a choice. I have accumulated more stuff in the past decade, but I find it much easier to let go now. I have learned not to attach to stuff, and that’s a beautifully freeing feeling.
Stuff complicates and gets in the way of simplicity. I plan to make sure that I don’t get buried by the desire to hang on to anything other than God’s love. Now is the perfect time to pass along those things I don’t need and find new uses for what I do have. There’s a sweetness to simplicity that I crave more and more.
At the heart of simplicity is knowing what’s important and letting go of all that isn’t. It has taken a long time for me to come to that place of understanding, but I suppose it’s all part of growing up. Christ knew what was important and lived a simple life, and so did John the Baptist. God’s message was, and always will be, a simple one that appeals to simple folks.
My lifestyle will change dramatically in the coming months, and I’m looking forward to the lessons and the love that God has in store. I pray I will remember that simplicity makes life much sweeter and allows God the space He needs. I’m finding that I literally have to stop what I’m doing and look at the view from time to time. As the sun set yesterday, I realized that I didn’t need to worry about hanging my pictures on the wall. God already painted an amazing landscape that changes by the second. I also don’t think I’ll worry about cable or internet service for a while:)
Psalm 116:6 says, “The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.” and Psalm 119:130 says, “The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.”
As I humbly look to God’s words for light and understanding, I will be brought low. It is a good low that puts me in the perfect position to learn from and love Him. We are all “the simple;” we just don’t all know it. I’m learning that simple is a good thing, and simplicity is very sweet:)