Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lingering

It was a stressful day yesterday. I could feel myself coming apart at the seams. God just said, as I fumbled for the front door key at the end of day, “Come and sit with me.” I dug out a few candles with a nice vanilla fragrance, found a music CD that I hadn’t listened to for a while, and then climbed into bed and chilled. I suppose technically I was soaking. I spent the next hour or so listening to the lyrics of the songs, pouring out concerns before God and praying too about the needs of other people on the prayer list.

I got to a stage where I felt settled and at peace. All the things that had been stressing me out were no longer rocking my boat. I was about to launch off the bed and do a spot or ironing or something when God’s next word was, “Linger.”

When I buy petrol for my car I usually buy just enough to cover the needs of the week. The tank is only ever half full. Very rarely, apart from journey’s down to see my folks in Rugby, do I fill it to the top. It gets filled on a Thursday and by the following Thursday we are into the “red warning light” dashboard thing. There is always just enough and no more.

God was telling me that I am a bit like that at times. I collect what I think will be enough resources for the day in my quiet times. But I don’t have “extra”. I am not necessarily overflowing. His suggestion that I “linger” was about reaching the overflowing stage! I lingered, listened some more to the music, prayed some more.

I was reminded of Joshua in the book of Exodus.

Exodus 33:11 “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.”

While Moses returned to the camp, Joshua stayed behind in the tabernacle with God. He lingered! I wonder what he and God spoke about, or whether they just shared companionable silences. Joshua developed his own relationship with God and when the time came took over the leadership of Israel.

But before he led, he lingered!

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