Don't Resist What Actually Refreshes

Our family just spent a week at the beach in Virginia,. The weather's been hot, but not muggy, and the ocean's been cold, but not frigid. A perfect combination. 

Each day I've sat on the beach reading from the stack of books I brought. Each day I've waited until I was thoroughly hot so I'd be ready to take the plunge into the ocean. Each day I've stood at the water's edge and sucked in my breath when the waves first hit my feet, then my shins, then my thighs. Each day I've reasoned with myself, "Robin, you're hot. The water's refreshing. Just get in the water. Just take the plunge."

But it was just yesterday that I noticed the irrationality of this process: I'm hot. The water's refreshing. And yet, I hesitate to enter. I balk at the exact thing that's going to help just because it shocks my system for a moment.

I felt the gentle nudge of God as I considered this. It wasn't just about the ocean. There are many times when I know exactly what I need—sleep instead of caffeine, time genuinely connecting with a friend instead of scrolling on my phone, running to the Lord in prayer instead of numbing myself with distraction—but I stand at the edge, slow to take the plunge because I perceive it'll be a shock to my system for a moment. In the process, I'm depriving myself of the one thing that will offer real refreshment.

So today I just got in the water. And, as expected, it was glorious. Why would I ever delay such goodness?

Let's not resist what actually refreshes.

But As For Me

Right now, Canada is on fire. Although it's hundreds of miles away from where I'm sitting on my front porch in central Pennsylvania, our skies loom heavily, nearly dripping with languid haze, making me want to blink hard or wave my hand in front of my face, in hopes to clear my vision and swipe away the fog.

Amazing how something so far away can still hit close to home.

The other day I was reading from Micah, a book in the Bible I rarely visit. I was struck by a statement in chapter 7:

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord.
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.

What a powerful declaration. I focus on the boldness of the opening words: "But as for me." These are the types of words that drive a stake in the ground, the types of words that draw a line in the sand. 

No matter what others do, no matter what comes my way, no matter how I feel, no matter what things look like, I will do this: I will watch in hope for the Lord.

Right now, I'm watching in hope for the Lord in regards to many things. To be honest, I feel like I'm watching for God through a haze. On the surface, I don't visibly see Him at work in the circumstances. Nothing seems quite clear. I want to blink and have the situation look less obscured. I want to swipe my hand in front of my face, like I'm brushing away the blur, and have something visibly shift with my surroundings.

But, like Micah, I also wait.

I wait in the midst of these unclear situations, knowing that God, my Savior, hears me. 

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