When hard pressed I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.Psalm 118:5-6
Maybe it is being in our eighth week of confinement “at home” that made this vivid promise grab a hold of me this morning and refuse to let go.
For the first time ever the entire world has paused–so completely that if not for the dawn one could wonder if the world itself had stopped spinning. Believers and nonbelievers alike are forced to ask, “What in the world is God up to,” because this is too big, too complete and too shocking to be insignificant.
Some fret that it is God’s judgment.
But what if instead it is a bold and beautiful manifestation of God’s abundant love? Like a small child lost in a tantrum of out-of-control emotions and actions, grabbed gently but firmly by the shoulders, the Lord has given the world a much-needed time out.
And we resisted.
And we fidgeted with restlessness over what we were missing.
And at last we plopped down, feeling the wave of exhaustion finally catching up to us for all the striving and desire for control in our daily lives.
And here we sit. Idly. Together with those we love. Removed from everything. Confined. Some might even say hard pressed.
Yet it’s here, in this earthly confinement, when the Lord finally has our undivided attention, that the heavens open up to reveal his glory.
In the Imagine Heaven Devotional by John Burke, I read this description of heaven by a man who, it’s worth noting, had been blind from birth:
But coming out into a large field, the closest I could tell you about color was that the brightness and brilliance of that whole area was absolutely indescribable….When I noticed that I was walking up this field, it seemed as if I was so exhilarated and so unbelievably renewed that I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay forever where I was….It was so unbelievably peaceful that there is no way that I could describe the peace and the tranquility and the calm.
One of the things that most fascinates me about the Kingdom is how it turns the earth upside down.
Could it be that what feels oppressive and restrictive through our worldly lens instead is the key to experiencing the indescribable spaciousness of heaven?
Don’t miss it. Take time before you begin one more day at home to release your grip on the distress of not being in control and behold the spaciousness in God’s invitation to be still and know that he is God.