“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23: 1-3)
We continue along in our study and discussion of chapters 9 & 10 in Without Rival by Lisa Bevere.
Written by: Cindy Morrone
Once upon a recent time, in a not-so-faraway land lived a woman, for her protection, we’ll call her ‘Cindy’.
If we could sit and watch her for a day we’d notice she did regular things like laundry, clean toilets, think of something for suppers and care for her children. We’d see her hug her husband when he came home from work. We’d notice that she laughs and cries, serves and gives, and loves and is loved.
Throughout the day, some peculiar things would take place. Happenings would occur but it’s her reactions to these happenings that really catches our attention.
Her precious ones would run into trouble and immediately she linked that to her own inadequacies. Her husband wouldn’t say what she thought he should say and she’d then believe intimacy was broken. She’d see the measly number of likes on her social media and count it as loss. Her quiet phone screamed lack of close relationships. And suppers? My ‘lanta she hadn’t thought of a new dish to serve for a very long time. With all these things considered she’d wrap her empty longings together and truly wonder if what she did in her very, regular day even mattered.
Quickly she would grow tired, wearisome, and defeated.
Then she’d desperately reach out to someone; anyone willing to listen. She’d try to fix her daughters problems and clean the toilet cleaner. And she just plain gave up on cooking.
But then there were times in that same day that her reactions were completely different, despite her running into the very same situations.
We can see that her longings didn’t change, she still needed to be loved, experience intimacy with her hubbie, have great friendships, well daughters, live a life of awesome purpose—no, it wasn’t her longings that differed. We are a bit perplexed by this until we remember ALL that she has done in that day.
Oh, yah! In the morning, we quietly watched her open her Bible all curled up on her couch with a coffee in one hand and her pen and journal in the other. And, Yes! she sang out loud to that worship song standing right there in her kitchen with her arms raised high. We’ve seen her kneel in earnest prayer wherever she might be and heard her cry over and over for her Jesus to help her.
That’s it! There were times Cindy dry, desperate and thirsty went to the old wells, the ancient wells that could never hydrate her desperately dehydrated soul. And then there were times that she went to the living water; her Jesus.
Much like the story of Photina, as told by Lisa in chapter 9, Cindy finds in her meetings with Jesus that her longings are validated and completely and absolutely satisfied. In His holy presence her empty vessel is filled as she hears and knows in the very depth of her soul what He calls her, “beloved and cherished, prized, precious and priceless, valued and treasured.” (page 219)
Lisa urges all of us dear ones to receive the invitation, ‘Even now I hear Jesus inviting each and every one of his daughters, “Believe me, my valued, treasured, and loved woman, your time has come…” Your time to believe is now.’ (page 219)
‘Our God is not closest to you on a mountain, in a city, or even at a church. No individual can keep you from his presence. Thankfully, no mistake can separate you from what abides within you. Jesus awaits your worship at the well of your heart.’ (page 219)
Let’s talk, ladies! Choose one of the questions from our Conversation Cafe and answer in the comment section below. Don’t be afraid to discuss answers with other participants!
- What are your deepest longings?
- What is a practice that you can start right now to bask in His presence?