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When Things Are on Pause

When Things Are on Pause

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. — Psalm 91:1 NKJV

I love the pause button on our TV remote. It gives me the illusion that I can control time. Just press pause and I can answer the door, make a cup of tea, finish that conversation, then press it again, and I’m right back where I left off.

I have, however, found that I’m not a fan of the pause button being used in my life — especially when I’m not the one who presses it. The last couple of years have felt like one long pause. Time is ticking, and life is swirling around, but my circumstances and my faith have ground to a halt, like a heavy steam locomotive pulling into the station.

And what’s worse is I haven’t always made the best use of my pause. I’ve filled it with thoughts of the past, finding regrets and failures. And I’ve found many. I’ve focused so much on the hope of situations changing that I’ve missed the Savior who is sustaining me.

Despite my faithlessness, God is faithful, and the Holy Spirit speaks straight into my pause:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. — Psalm 91:1 NKJV

This verse addresses dwelling in a secret place. To me, “dwelling” looked like quaint little cottages with cozy fires. But when life didn’t feel comfortable, I began to question,

  • Where are you, God?

Then I learned that in engineering the word dwell means “a brief pause in the motion of a part of a mechanism to allow an operation to be completed.”

This reassured me that God dwells in my empty, silent pauses. In fact, He is the One who presses pause so He can create a space to work in my life. The pause is necessary. My two-year pause to “dwell” does not feel brief, as defined by the engineers. But in the light of eternity, it is exactly that.

It is in this secret, hidden place, with my life on hold, that God is filling me with His presence and His purpose. The shadows that I’m dwelling in are from Him. They are His protection over me. In the darkness, when all seems still, God is in fact working to complete what He is doing in me.

This is my dwelling. This is my resting place.

In the most significant pause in history, God accomplished His greatest work. As Christ hung on the cross and cried out,

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” — Matthew 27:46 ESV,

darkness fell and heaven was silent. Jesus’ work was finished. All our sins, faults, and failures were paid in full in that pause.

My pause is not a punishment, nor is it because I’ve been forgotten; it is because I need completing.

My pause may be out of my control, but instead of looking at the dark- ness and seeing emptiness, I’m seeing the shadows of His love and a place for me to dwell.

Father, in my doubts and disappointments, in my life that doesn’t seem to be moving forward, may You help me to see that You have allowed this pause as an opportunity to work out what You have begun in me. May You fill this silent, empty space with more of Your presence. MayI not wrestle with regrets from the past, and may I not set my hopes on my expectations for the future. Lord, help me to rest in the knowledge that You are using this pause to dwell with me in secret. In Jesus’ name, amen.

~Bethany Heard

Excerpted with permission from Clear Mind, Peaceful Heart by Lysa TerKeurst and the Proverbs 31 Team, copyright Proverbs 31 Ministries.

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Your Turn

Are you in a season of pause right now? Are you focusing on the hope of situations changing? Could it be that you’re missing Jesus who is sustaining you? You’re not being punished. You haven’t been forgotten. God is doing very good things in and for you right now, so hang on and trust Him! ~ Devotionals Daily