Meet Caitlin. She is my beautiful Australian roommate, and she has slowly but surely become one of my best friends. But little did I know that when I first met her. When we first started to travel around our cute home of Baulkham Hills together, she would have me chasing after buses that typically she also made me late for; she was a bit more quiet, but we confided fun, little secrets in the shelter of our room; and well, I quickly discovered she oh so loved games, which I oh so did not love. In other words, we discovered we were complete opposites very quickly, but somehow, seven months later, we also realized that we both have changed for the better since meeting one another. Though it took some time, I have learned a few things about her.
- When she is quiet, she is processing.
- When it’s night time, she talks 10x more.
- She loves all the earth-friendly things and supporting locals.
- She only will drink half-strength/ weak coffee.
- Sometimes she loves pesto more than me, but it’s fine.
All to say, I’ve gotten to know her. Because I now know her more, I have learned that when she speaks, she has thought long and hard about what she was going to say. Unlike me who talks as a process, her words have a weight to them to sink when she does speak. She is the definition of grace, I can promise you that. But I had to learn that by taking the time to get to know her so that I could understand her heart behind her words. Others may talk to her and never know the depth in which she speaks or know the time and prayer she has put into what she has boldly decided to say. For instance, I wrote her a cute and prophetic letter once, because you know, I like to write… surprise. & DAYS later, she said one sentence that had the weight of a thousand generations behind it. I’ll never forget that sentence. For when she speaks, there is a depth to her words. But if you didn’t know her… you wouldn’t know that.
Then there’s God and His Word and I believe the exact same concept applies. Some people try to pick up His Word and read it in the tone they would expect Him to say it in. If someone sees Him as a cruel God, what they read may have a harsh, edgy tone to it. If someone else sees Him as a faithful God, what they read may have a Sovereign, wise tone. And if another sees Him as a Father, what they read may have a loving, comforting tone to it. It’s almost who you have come to know God as, or never known Him to be. To know someone is to know their heart and that makes a world of a difference in hearing what they’re speaking.
When I used to hear the words, “Be still and know that I am God,” in Psalm 46:10, a part of my heart used to fret, because it was like hearing “be still… and no, not yet, I am God.” I know… they’re different kind of “know’s/no’s,” but it was how I was perceiving God. At times it felt like He was saying no to me, and at other times I felt like I was saying no to Him. I just didn’t want to be still any longer. I was like, “Be still? While I’m watching everyone else live their dreams right before me. No… What about that cute boy? What about that job opportunity? What about ____? No way. I can’t be still.” But if I had taken the time to truly and purely know Him, I would have realized… He is good and His words are spoken in kindness and wisdom. Here are a few things I have learned about him:
- God is kind, but not soft. (Romans 2:3-4) // Sometimes we need to be put in our place.
- He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. (Psalm 145:8) // It doesn’t surprise him when you mess up; He meets you there so you can learn and move forward. We are to learn from our mistakes, not be defined by them.
- God is good and does only good. (Psalm 119:68) Just because God is good doesn’t mean life is perfect, but He does good things for us to remind us that in a fallen world, He is still there.
- It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this. (Proverbs 3:12) Discipline actually betters us. I know, it’s crazy. But God brings out the best in us through discipline, and we see His best in the journey.
- God is love. (1 John 4:8) Thus God is patient and kind, a place and shelter of protection, trustworthy, a ray of hope, and constant in his pursuit of never giving up on us. (Taken from 1 Corinthians 13) Its okay to be vulnerable with Him, with the best, and not so best, parts of your heart; He’s the greatest love you’ll ever know, and so there’s no need to hide from Him.
His Word(s) speak of who He is, but knowing who He is behind his words adds depth to the what and when he wisely and kindly chooses to speak.
I know that this blog isn’t very long, it’s not even very deep compared to my others, but I just felt like it was a point that needed to come across? Because when we begin to allow ourselves to know God, we begin to hear the depth behind His words that He patiently and wisely spoke into existence for us to hold onto. I don’t know what your words are, or what verses you may have spoken over and over again to you, but I do know that we need to not expect God to speak them as we would. He is so much more pure, gentle, and grace-filled than how we hear it. It’s our choice to either say, “No” when He says “Be still”, or to actually come to know Him by taking the time to be still. He doesn’t whisper “Be still”‘to say “No” to us, we simply just need to know Who He is first before we can hear the thousand generations behind what He is going to speak next. Just step back, listen to His words, know who He is, and really listen to what He is trying to say.
My prayer is that you will hear a Father’s heart behind his words, and that you’ll realize they are powerful and purposed beyond what you know.