A Time for Selah

Spring is shaping up to be a very busy season in our house. In addition to the usual garden preparations, we are in the early stages of laying down a new hardwood floor upstairs. I say “we”, but I’m certain my husband will be doing most of the work.

My life is equally busy, as I am simultaneously participating in two Bible studies, and leading a 6-week Lenten PraiseMoves series at my church. I am also just finishing up a Board position within my local DAR chapter, and will be taking on several new roles in the near future.

Yikes! How will I ever juggle it all, and when will I find time to rest?

Press Pause

As I was contemplating all these commitments this week, a particular Psalm presented itself on two separate occasions. The first occasion was during a beautiful memorial service for a friend who departed this earth much too soon. The second occasion was just this morning while reading my Lenten devotion.

I don’t know about you, but it’s not often that the Lord strategically places one specific scripture under my nose twice during the same week. That is a generally good indication that He wants me to read it.

And so I did.

Psalm 84 begins . . .

The Blessedness of Dwelling in the House of God.

How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah”
‭‭- Psalms 84:1-4

One Little Word

Did you miss it? That last word keeps catching my attention. Selah.

I did a bit of research today and learned that the meaning of Selah is often debated. This Hebrew word appears 71 times in Psalms, and 3 times in Habakkuk. Many believe that it is a musical term meant to create a pause. The musicians and those singing the psalm were given time to pause and reflect on the words they were singing. Often this was during a long journey or pilgrimage to the Holy Temple.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah” – Psalms‬ ‭84:5-8‬

There it is again. Give ear! Listen.

O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.”‭ – ‭Psalms‬ ‭84:9-11‬

During this season of Lent, when so many activities are demanding our time and attention, it is important to pause. Take a breath. Reflect on the blessings our Heavenly Father has given us.

Spring is God’s gift to us all after a long, cold and dreary winter. Take this season slowly. Breathe it in. Watch the buds opening each day.

Above all, pause and enjoy!

Sunday Interrupted

Today was one of those rare snow days that fell on a Sunday. It’s not often that we cancel worship services at our church, but the roads weren’t cleared this morning and it was a good call.

I’ve made good use of this quiet day. So far I’ve done absolutely nothing except watch the birds feeding on our patio, and cook up a steaming pot of “kitchen sink” soup. It’s aroma is wafting through the house as I type this blog entry. I may have even watched a little football. 😉

Days like today are necessary now and then.

Do I feel lazy and a little bit guilty for not catching up on my laundry or cleaning the kitchen? Nah. I spent a full hour shoveling snow this morning, so I definitely earned some rest.

I also think these unexpected snowdays help us to remember that life is not in our control. That’s an uncomfortable thought for some, but I need the occasional reminder that God does not work according to my timetable. He sometimes steps in and provides the downtime I need to recharge after a prolonged period of busyness. I daresay many of us are still in recovery mode after the holidays.

We need a little silence.

For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.‭‭ – Psalms‬ ‭62:5-7‬

When these rare opportunities upset your schedule, try to embrace the break rather than curse the inconvenience. God’s got this! There will be ample time to catch up in the days ahead.