I sit here
craving your presence
I close my eyes
hoping to feel you close
All the things
I busy myself with
Seem to pull me further away.
I’ve forgotten to dwell with you, my God.
How do I simply sit still?
How do I just be me and let you be you?
You’ve called me here to listen
and to stay awake.
I tune my heart, my mind, my soul–
Help me dwell.
I’ve found over the years that God often gives me unrest when he wants me to dwell with Him.
(Notice I said “gives.” Yes, sometimes unrest is a gift.)
For me, a busy mom with four kids, the usual time of silence when I finally tune in to God’s desire for me to meet with him is during the night.
The unrest is just that – insomnia. Sometimes one night, sometimes a few nights in a row; usually there is a specific purpose to it (although I usually have no idea what God is up to).
I wrote this poem at a time when I felt God calling me out of bed to dwell with Him in the middle of the night.
No, it’s not convenient.
No, I didn’t want to get up.
But I was obedient and there was a purpose – this poem came from it.
This same night, I opened my bible to Psalm 90 and drew inspiration from it:
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
7 For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
I don’t know about you, but I want to feel encompassed by my Lord. When I respond and meet with Jesus in the middle of the night, He usually comforts me in some way. This Psalm reminded me that wherever I am, I can be still and dwell with my Savior.
I’m able to put the hard times behind me, ready to look forward to a new day, ready to accept the Lord’s favor, ready to establish His work in my life, and ready to right my heart with His.
Here’s a blessing for you from Deuteronomy 30: 19-20 where Moses instructs the Israelites:
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
May you dwell with the One who created you, and choose life.
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ.