Pause in His Presence, Part 3

“Take Him All In”

I have been meditating on Psalm 4:6-8 the past few days.  Here’s what it says in the ESV:

There are many who say, ‘Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!’ You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

The number of times that I have read through the Psalms and skipped over this verse is innumerable. Last week, however, something really caught my eye when I was reading it. In other translations, verse six asks the question, “Who will show us better times…” If I’m honest, I think that’s the part that caught my attention because of the day that I was having. Being in quarantine, my job is shifting, my internet wasn’t working, I was having issues with a friend – and the list goes on. I’m sure you know those days! Of course my thought process was similar to David’s in Psalm 4:6 here: “When will things get better? Come on God, and shine Your face upon me so that I can have joy and peace again!”

Being the teacher that I am, I looked up the Hebrew meaning of the words “light” and “face.”  You can check out the details in the Strong’s concordance for yourself, but the meanings of these two words really touched me.  “Light” in this context actually means an illumination, much like at daybreak.  The word “face” is my favorite.  It has a variety of applications, but ultimately it refers to a countenance or a presence that is before, behind, beside, and all around.  WOW.

There’s so much to chew on there!

The Lord showed me two things that I wanted to share. First of all, He reminded me that His presence truly does illuminate our lives and surround us, but we have to take it in. I was sitting in the sunshine while reading this passage, and the Holy Spirit told me to stop, look up at the sun, and just soak it all in.

There are so many times that we know that the sun is shining on us, but we stay focused on our work, our thoughts, or questions (ie. “Who will show us better times?”) and we forget to just Pause in His Presence and allow the sunshine to really reach us and affect us. I had to choose to take it all in for a moment, and allow the sunshine to penetrate my skin and make me feel a sense of normalcy again.

The second thing that He showed me is that as verses seven and eight suggest, when we do take Him in, acknowledging that His glorious presence is before, behind, beside and all around us, His promise is that we will remember our joy. We will have peace and rest again, and feel a sense of safety in His presence.

I suppose the moral of the story for me was this: Even when asking the hard questions – the why’s and when’s and how’s – I have to stop and choose to look at His face. I have to accept that His presence is all around me, just waiting for me to soak Him all in. I have to Pause in His Presence, where I will find my joy, peace, rest and safety.

Lord, prove them wrong when they say, ‘God can’t help you!’ Let the light of your radiant face break through and shine upon us! The intense pleasure you give me surpasses the gladness of harvest time, even more than when the harvesters gaze upon their ripened grain and when their new wine overflows. Now, because of you, Lord, I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once, for no matter what happens, I will live unafraid!” – The Passion Translation

—Mandy Woodhouse