Changes are coming to the Royalty household friends.
The girls are now wearing white socks and the boys black.
But those are not the changes I am talking about. :-)
They are life changes for our family of eight.
Some are living as if nothing will be different and carry about with their daily activities hardly affected at all.
Some are chatty, wanting to explore all of the possibilities in our future while they are doing the dishes with you, preparing dinner or just about anywhere.
Some are a little nervous and will divulge worries that would make you laugh, but are Oh so real to their little heart.
And some spend most of their time and energy hiding.
And we are not talking about the wee ones in that last group.
We are talking about me.
Do you remember how you would try to find the best hiding place in your yard when all the neighborhood kids would come for Hide and Seek?
Mine was in a bush in our front yard and I was so little and wirery that I would go unnoticed forever if I so chose.
And it wasn’t just a game to me sometimes.
I loved hiding.
In a bush, in a tree that exposed the whole woods by my house when up high enough to scare my mother half to death, or in my closet behind the dresses you are too old and too embarrassed to wear anymore.
It was a cave, a tree house, and sometimes a high rise apartment where I would rent out the nicest branches to my neighbors and younger brother.
But no matter where it was it was always the same.
It was safe and it was quiet.
No t.v. running, no sisters chatting with friends over, no phones to answer and lovely enough no homework either.
I could just think, imagine and sigh big and loud and let out all the day. In my tree I could let my limbs dangle over branches and watch the clouds go by.
I have this thing for escaping.
I must have a little too much “flight” and not enough “fight,” though take my last piece of ginger candy and I will make up for my lack of “fight” right quick.
When the news came I went to God and said, “What now?”
And He, knowing me, sent me to Isaiah.
And there I have hid ever since.
And like Elijah He has fed me with gems like chapter 26:3
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
But especially with verse 20 of that same chapter:
“Come, my people, enter into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.”
I have, um, accepted that offer.
And today as I peeked my head out of the cave, He met with me yet again and soothed a weary soul.
He led me to I Kings 19.
Elijah had just come through a great act of obedience. One that many might not have thought was “God’s will.” He might have been discouraged to go out on a limb like he did. He surely was afraid, but he obeyed.
I read and smile and nod as if I am there, and my story is patterning his.
Elijah then runs and hides. He is just.done.
He obeyed, but now he just wishes that the Lord would just come and take him right on to heaven. After all, he pleads, I am no better than my fathers. Than those who have stood in the gap before me.
He is exhausted mentally and emotionally and physically. He wants to do what is right, but he is plum worn out.
And an angel touches him and has provided food and drink for him. He wakes, eats, and sleeps again only to be woke again to eat and drink . The angel explains why he has touched him again:
“the journey is too great for thee.”
Lord, the man has obeyed. He is tired, and now he must journey? A journey that is too great for him?
It is here that my heart leaps into action and says, “ALRIGHTY….STOP THE PRESSES. No more. Eyes squinted shut, brow crinkled and fists closed tight….. NO MORE. I am now refusing to find any more parallels in this story. Why did you lead me here Lord????
And only by God’s grace he went in the strength of that meat for 40 days and nights.
And at this moment the Holy Spirit is saying, “Have I not sustained you too?” and I nod knowing How sweet He has been to meet me in my every fear.
And as Elijah lodges in a cave at Mount Horeb I am stunned. This man of God hides too.
And The LORD came to him. He met him there in the cave and asked him why he was there.
And He meets me in my cave and asks me why I am there.
And in my minds eye I can see Elijah sitting with his head on one of his hands and Elijah telling him that he feels alone. Like he is the last one to love the Lord enough to step out and obey no matter how hard or crazy the circumstance.
I smile a weak smile. One that says to the LORD, “Yeah, what he said.”
And the LORD listened. He listened to him, just as he listens to me and my heart’s cry.
And I am holding my Bible like a novel I cannot put down and I follow Elijah as he stands upon the Mount as the LORD directs him. And the Lord opens up my spiritual eyes and I am soaking in every single thing He gives me.
“And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD;
but the LORD was not in the wind:
and after the wind an earthquake;
but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire;
but the LORD was not in the fire;
My eyes begin to well up…
and after the fire a still small voice.”
And when Elijah heard the LORD’s voice he went to hear it. It says that he is again standing in the opening of the cave and the Lord asks him again after this miraculous display of power what he is doing in the cave. Now at the beginning of this act the LORD asks him to “stand upon the mount before the LORD” himself. Now I am not trying to add something that is not there, but it seems to me that Elijah was standing out in the open and then opted for the cave option. :-) And I am there with him!
I smile through tears.
And Elijah still gives him the same speel he did before. He is lonely in this obedience. He loves God, but he is weary.
And the most wonderful thing does NOT happen.
There is no chastening.
There, between the verses, you cannot find a “didn’t you see what I just did?” or a “Come on! Snap out of this! I am in control.”
My heart skips and my smile widens.
God didn’t chide Elijah for feeling alone. For feeling weak. For even wishing he would just go to heaven to be with the one he loves more than life.
He just calmly, lovingly spreads a beautiful plan before him. He tells him what he wants him to do, and what those whom he anoints will do for God and then he adds the final touch.
He tells him that there are still 7,000 people who are still obeying in difficult times.
They are also faithful.
And his plan for us in Humphrey is in the hard spots.
No, no crazy woman is out for my life.
But there are those who may not understand this obedience. Those I love. Even me. And I often feel that the journey is indeed too great, and the need to retreat to my cave.
And today the Lord reminded me yet again that He will meet me in the cave and listen and encourage.
I smile today as my oldest daughter practices for her piano lesson. She has been desperately trying to learn some hymns that I love, hymns by Charles Weigle that just so speak to my heart. She plays and I hum busy in the kitchen.
And it hits me.
She is playing “I Have Found a Hiding Place.”
Though I hide, he will SEEK.