The Arizona highway stretched long and thin through the desert mountains, and I was fighting fear as I drove my little RAV4 over the blacktop. I had been booked to speak at a church in AZ, and I realized I was a long way from the nearest gas station! With no cell phone reception among the rocks and cactus, it was a long drive and I had never been to this church before. I flipped through the radio stations to pass the time and could only get one signal: a pop music station playing Walk the Moon's track, Shut up and Dance, a tongue-in-cheek song about simply enjoying the moment.
I laughed- the song hit home, and I realized the Holy Spirit was calling me to rest and just trust Him on that trip. To dance, and let Him lead. Sure enough, everything turned out great. God protected, provided, and there was an opportunity for some special ministry time at the church. To this day, Shut up and Dance makes me smile every time I hear it.
Later, I decided to create a photo to this idea after discovering some Scripture that really brought the concept to life.
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him..." Psalm 37:7a
The Hebrew word "rest" in this verse means: "to be dumb, to stop, quiet self, rest, be silent, tarry." I'm one of those visionaries who is constantly chewing on ideas, making sense of chaos, and processing pretty much everything. This specific directive couldn't be clearer: STOP TALKING- and that includes the chatter of the inner mind. Still your soul, Rebecca. Pause. Embrace silence.
"Wait patiently" is a single Hebrew word with a radical meaning: "to twist or whirl in a circular or spiral manner, specifically to dance..." This word is translated into various words in English. For instance, is could mean dance, or it could mean to birth, like Psalm 29:9 which says that God's voice makes the "hinds to calve," and calve is this dancing Hebrew word. Other times it's interpreted as "fear," or even "formed." I'm not a scholar, but this Hebrew word seems to denote a verb of passion, motion, and even creativity.
For me, perhaps this verse is summed up in the lyrics of the pop song where the lover playfully sings this invitation, "Shut up and dance with me!" As much as God loves our business and action for the Kingdom, sometimes the place of rest means silence and a dance of faith with Him- whatever that looks like. Whether you're driving through the Arizona desert or through a difficult time in life, trusting God is the best place to be!
I was all ready to send a composite photo but decided on a very different creative direction this week, because I believe the message of the moment is more important than just sharing "cool art!" I was in prayer a couple of days ago and the Lord impressed this image on my heart of a fork. It wasn't your average silver fork-- it had extra prongs for picking up specialty hors d'oeuvres. Immediately I realized that God is enlarging our hearts to contain what He has for the next season. Just like this fork has to be extra large for serving foods that are timely, special, and strategically placed within a meal, He is preparing us for very special things to unfold in our journey. It was a funny little image but totally true for my life, and I think it could be for someone else's too!
Often we want and expect God to do great things in our lives, but in reality we are so unprepared for them to happen! In His graciousness, God molds and shapes our hearts to be ready for the next step. David realized this when he penned Psalm 119:32.
I will run the way of thy commandments when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
The Hebrew word for enlarge, means “to broaden, make room, make open wide.” Our Father is so wise and good with our hearts! When we belong to Christ, He actually makes room in our heart so we can handle the beauty of His plans. There have been some things God has asked me to do that have been very difficult, and others that have nearly overloaded my nervous system with excitement! For each time, I have needed God's “enlarging” of my vision, dreams, and trust in Him in order to handle the task, battle, and responsibility of the assignment.
I believe that God is using this time to sharpen and fine tune our hearts so that He can entrust us with what is to come! Sometimes that means dealing with attitudes and emotions that remind me that it's time to "clean house" and realign with the character of Christ. Other times it means letting go of things from another season that aren't meant to fit into God's plan for this season. It could even mean spending extra time in rest and prayer so that God can download His plans for my journey. I'm choosing to lean into this process because I'm SO EXCITED for what is to come! What does "enlarging" look like for you?
Prayer: Lord, enlarge my faith, trust, and vision so that I can see clearly and accurately and be ready for what is to come!