Embracing the mysteries of God
“She has kept this for the day of My burial.” John 12:7
We can all relate to Sara in this chapter as she explains those times of stealing away with God. It was time for her “wonder hour“. She stole away while children played and napped. This was the part of the day she looked forward to the most. What she learned is that if we are not careful we can unconsciously allow traditions to dominate and keep us from the holy whispers of God.
As she stole away, life’s busyness melted away into the conversation with God. Sara found in these moments of hiddenness was where she found the deepest joy of any life, secret prayer. I loved this quote, “His Word doesn’t work its way inside of me unless it becomes my dialogue with Him.” Is this not what Rhema is? Holy whispers which speak to us personally. Sara reminds us that there isn’t a relationship in the world which could prosper without personal time with one another. She explains that in her relationship with The Lord, this is a time of coming alive for her and there is nothing else as important as this time with Him.
The crux of familiarity becomes an enemy to us. It is certainly not done consciously or on purpose. But it can and does prevent us from going deeper. Some of the tasks which can lead us into familiarity are teaching Sunday School or preschool choir, participating in the Christmas cantata, leading a Bible study and so much more. All these things are good but when they take away the passion to go deeper, this is detrimental to our spirits. The lie we have told ourselves is that we know everything about God. We read our Word daily, we pray, we go to church. But Sara explains that too often this familiarity prevents us from going deeper. Our life becomes stagnant when we fall into familiarity.
Traditions of Men, An Age-Old Problem
In my family when we say the word “traditions” we often end up singing the Traditions song from Fiddler On The Roof. Men have had traditions forever. These traditions leave us feeling safe but often prideful, thinking we already know all there is to know about God. This is a dangerous place to be. We may have had a beautiful experience with The Lord, ten years ago and think this is enough mana to sustain us for the rest of our lives, but this is wrong thinking. And it will bring destruction to our relationship with The Lord. Prayer becomes stale, Sara tells us and sends us looking for excitement elsewhere.
Mary was familiar with the traditions around her. She was not ignorant of the ways of society but she understood even better the needs of her Savior. This was intimacy with God, a place all of us should seek to be with our Lord. Her relationship with Jesus became real, and we too can experience this.
His Holy Whispers, Closer Than A Heartbeat
Sara explains that when we find this intimacy with God as Mary did, this place of hiddenness, we will understand that our relationship with God is and growing in the connectedness to His heart will bring us to the meat of The Word and the hearty sustenance of our relationship with our Creator.
Sara realized as she was watching another mother, pregnant with child listening for the child’s heartbeat, feeling him moving inside her that she had never experienced that. As she pondered what she had missed out on though, she began to focus on what The Lord had done through that which was incomparable to anything else.
At the time she and Nate were waiting for the adoption of Lily & Hope. She had prayed and begun seeking The Lord for what she didn’t know about these two precious girls. She asked Him questions about their individual make-up. Things she and no one else knew except their Creator. What she took from this time was not only learning things about Lily & Hope but also herself as well. She had a new “connectedness” to Him. Those holy whispers which were hidden to everyone else but her. They “were as real to me as a heartbeat on a sonogram screen”. A perspective which took her from sorrow to intimacy.
Sinking Our Roots Deep
Loving God doesn’t happen by accident after we’ve given our hearts to Him. This deep love comes as we sink our roots deeper in Him and this happens through secret prayer. Sara says, “prayer laces our hearts to the unseen mysterious God, to whom we say, Who You are, God, is more important than what I see in front of me and what others see of me.” Mary understood this and that is what kept her at the feet of her Savior. And Sara found that she found this kind of intimacy with her Creator in times of barrenness, adoption, writing a new book, and life. But what she noticed most was that it may have begun in these areas of needs but what it turned into was that this rootedness in God was more important than His answers. Her life was intertwined with His, deeply rooted in His.
As I was reading this again and typing it here, I thought of a hurt that left my heart scarred just a few days ago. God IS more important than what I see in front of me and what others see of me. We must come to the realization and understanding that this deep love can only happen between us and God. Trying to cause this to happen between us and another human being will leave us hurt. It is Him we need to run to and be deeply rooted in. Peace will only come from here. This isn’t something that is comparable to anything else we have ever known.
Between The Pages of a Book
Sara goes onto share about the excitement in her book being published. She lets us know that as we’re reading this book, the most beautiful part of the story, is in the unseen, hidden story that only she and God share. She said we wouldn’t have the story we’re reading if the unseen story had not taken place.
What is your story? Is it what others see on the outside or what is only seen in the hidden place of secret prayer with God? Those times when His holy whispers are what keeps us moving forward.
We will all experience disappointment many times throughout our lifetime, but Sara gives us a great way to handle this disappointment. She encourages us to look to God and ask Him His opinion. Friend’s and family’s opinions can leave us hurt and discouraged, but The Lord’s opinion is what matters most. When we keep our eyes fixed on Him and stay deeply rooted in Him, our perspective will be changed and His holy whispers will be what motivates us to keep moving forward.