All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness…
Sometimes paths of steadfast love and faithfulness lead through dark valleys and places of pain. Sometimes we must give up, relinquish control, and simply let go at the worst possible time. Sometimes there is little light at the end of the tunnel, save for what you persuade yourself to see.
Sometimes you learn to live in the land and do good and cultivate faithfulness. But there are seasons where faithfulness looks more like stillness. Frantic toil and making things happen breeds – in me, at least – the illusion of control. “I have it all together, and I must keep it so,” for all those around me. This leaves little room for rest and restoration, all this harried doing.
I am learning, again and again, how poorly I heed the commandment to rest. “Come to me, you weary, heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” he says. But I am all movement, inside if not out, all thoughts of doing and creating and solving and fixing.
And all this motion has brought me here, face-to-face with years of running. On paths of love and faithfulness, I find myself in a valley of my own. There is a promise of hope on the other side, but even so, my instinct is still to run. Nothing now seems certain.
I know this is the in-between I talk about so often, but I don’t want to make it beautiful. I don’t want to sit and find the joy here, to fight for wholeness and purpose. But I know I will never regret those things. And I hear the whisper, “Come to me.”
Let the land lie fallow.
They resonate and wrap around me, float up from some place deep within. But I recognize these words: a commandment for a sabbath year, a time of no planting. A season of trust, living off the produce of years past and believing there will be good to come from this still and silent time. A time of no harvest.
The sabbath year was more than rest. It was also restoration. We know now the benefits of crop rotation, of giving the land a break to reabsorb nutrients and resources. We know in order for the land to keep giving, every now and then it needs a break. Let the land lie fallow.
As these five words turn over and over in my mind and heart, I realize what I don’t want to be true: this is my season.
In this valley season, I realize there is nothing to do but let the land lie fallow. Sometimes we’ve worked and planted and pruned and harvested, and look at all this fruit! But our soil is depleted of life-giving nutrients, and if we don’t stop, we may not be able to nurture much at all.
I am trying to learn to cultivate faithfulness, to dwell in this land and this space given to me. Right now, faithfulness looks like stillness. Faithfulness looks like stepping back and taking a break. It’s time to relinquish control. It’s time to listen more than speak, to trust this Farmer to tend the land.I am trying to learn to cultivate faithfulness, to dwell in this land and this space given to me. - @Simmonssarahj Click To Tweet
Originally published on Sarah’s Blog at www.beautifulbetween.com.