Retreat into the Quiet

Oh to be fully known and loved,
you know I’m hiding from you,
yet I’m called into the cool of day,
to walk with you and plead my case.

I’ve been exposed,
my hungry hands stole from you,
still you trade silver and barley
to buy back my fragile soul.

I can not believe, you help me to see
the cost that you’ll pay.
I’m just withering flesh, dirty blood
and brittle bones.

Yours is the strangest, loveliest knowing I’ve ever known.
Like Moonbeams in daytime,
Softer than sunlight,
Gentle like wind sweeping pines,
You’re the love of my life.

I am unlearning and being taught so much right now. I am letting go of things I thought I wanted, thought I needed. I am taking hold of what really matters.

It is serious work redefining what you want. I don’t mean want like “oh I want some ice cream”; I mean what does your soul truly long for in this life? I mean the want that drives all the other wants and informs every choice you make in a day.

I thought I wanted life with Jesus. Turns out what I really wanted was to feel good and affirmed and to live a life full of blessings and prosperity. I wanted the life that I saw other believers living, those that I admired and envied in some cases. I wanted the fruit before the roots. I wanted the product without the production. For so long I failed to connect the dots. There is no replacement for time spent with Jesus. None.

Of course, Jesus accompanies you always. You can share every part of your day with Him. There is a deeper measure of His affection available when you cut the static, remove yourself from the world, and give Him your time undivided. I’ve learned recently that sharing your time with Jesus is not giving your time to Jesus. For me, It was more convenient to let Him sit in on my daily routine than to make Him a scheduled stop, but at what cost?

I had a deeply rooted habit of turning to secondary sources when I felt the need for Jesus’ company. In moments of grief, guilt, and struggle I would default to a trusty Will Reagan album and or a moving Bill Johnson sermon. I felt temporary relief, but as soon as the moment left I still felt the longing for Jesus. There are times when a li’l pep talk or some worship music is healthy and wonderful, but that is time spent thinking about Jesus, not being WITH Him. I see now that I can’t receive the intimacy with Jesus that someone else put in the time to unravel. I have to enter the quiet place myself. I must make a move of intention toward my lover. Jesus has an intimacy that He has crafted just for me. A way to hold my heart that only He can. A transformative love that only he can translate into the my heart’s native tongue.

Disclaimer: It is difficult to break deeply seeded tendencies.

It takes a serious mustering of will power to turn off the music, put the phone down and retreat into the quiet with Jesus. Our brains are wired for communing in a digital age, we find comfort in screens and noises and distractions. I don’t always make the decision to retreat into the quiet. I am not discouraged though, I am making progress and re-learning what it looks like to know Jesus. My heart and my tendencies are slowly being transformed. There is no rush, there is no “right” progression in relationship with Jesus.

I don’t know what you want or why you want it, but I do know that time spent in the quiet with Jesus is what you need. That’s all I got for ya, friends.

-Matty

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