When you read the Psalms, what do you do when your eyes encounter the word selah? Do you pause as the meaning of the Greek word suggests? I’ll go first and confess that I usually don’t, and I think I’m in the majority.
What if instead of using selah as a convenient mile marker for scripture memory projects or (worse yet) an unnecessary interruption of the flow, what if we received selah as an invitation?
In the psalms, Selah shows up for the first time in Psalm 3:
Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!Psalm 3:1-3
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
‘There is no help for him in God.’
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.”
What begins with trouble, with wearying voices pointing toward hopelessness, ends with praise and a clear view of God in his role as refuge and strength. The psalmist went from “There is no help” to “Lord, YOU are my helper!” And it happened after a pause.
What Is the Purpose of Rest?
Scholars differ over the true purpose of selah in the original context of Hebrew worship. Does it mean a thoughtful interlude of silent reflection? Some believe it signifies a sudden burst of instrumental music to accompany corporate praise.
In Thou Givest, They Gather, Amy Carmichael suggests that selah’s invitation to pause turns our inner struggles into peace. “We look away from self, away from the enemy. We look up!”
Rest is not simply a cessation of work. Rest is a gateway to worship. A pause for praise is a U-turn away from weariness and discouragement and toward strength and peace.
Rest is not simply a cessation of work. Rest is a gateway to worship.Tweet
What if you began taking God up on his invitation to rest wherever you find it—within the text of a psalm, with the sweet and satisfying presence of a loved one, in the simple beauty offered by the view through your kitchen window? What if you began to experience God as your helper and your source of true rest?
Holding you in the Light,
And Now Let’s Talk Books
Since most things that “go without saying” do, in fact, need to be said from time to time, I will say that true rest encompasses both body and soul. This week, I’m pleased to be offering resources to encourage you in that endeavor, and both are the work of online friends whose words I have come to trust through their other published work AND through their online ministries to their readers. Both Rebecca and Lucinda are great follows on Instagram, and you can simply click on their names to see for yourself.
God’s Purpose for You
It’s not too late to begin again in 2022, to drive a stake in the ground on some healthful practice that you’ve been flirting with since January 1, but never quite got around to implementing. Under the umbrella of First Place 4 Health, Lucinda Secrest McDowell has developed a resource to guide you in the process of becoming healthier on every level.
God’s Purpose for You offers nine weeks of daily inspirational readings that are challenging in scriptural depth, but also realistic in scope.
McDowell’s cheerful and positive voice comes through as she shares her own story of trusting God for solid spiritual, mental, and physical wholeness. She also draws on the wisdom of trusted professionals like Dr. Richard Swenson who exalts the uniqueness of God by recognizing our human limitations. You can dare to rest because God is sleepless, you can feel all your feelings because God has hardwired you with emotions, and you can trust God around every hairpin curve because he is never surprised.
Addressing the whole person, God’s Purpose for You includes recipes and menus for healthy eating and scripture memory encouragement to feed your soul. If you’re motivated by tracking progress, you’ll appreciate the forms for recording weight loss and exercise, all with the goal of giving Christ first place in every area of life. It’s clear that our soul care and our physical health are a seamless adventure as we turn toward God to meet all our needs in the formation of strong habits of faith to last a lifetime.
It’s not too late to begin again in 2022. Drive a stake in the ground on some healthful practice that you’ve been flirting with since January 1, but never quite got around to implementing. #GodsPurposeforYou @FP4Health @LucindaSMcDowelTweet
Healing Devotional for Women
Like it or not, we are all in the process of healing. For some, it’s simply healing from some thoughtless word spoken yesterday by a friend or a spouse. For others, it’s a soul wound inflicted in childhood but suffered in some measure every single day.
Jesus came for this. His heart is tender toward the messy and the broken, and Rebecca Hastings has backed this up with solid evidence from scripture. Her Healing Devotional for Women offers a new beginning, first by laying a foundation of connection with God, a path toward understanding God’s no-condemnation love toward you.
With this firmly in place, healing becomes a journey of listening to the truth and letting it be louder than the screaming banshees in the culture or in your own head, of making the choice to place your faith in God and to displace faith in yourself.
Hastings is a reliable guide in this journey toward healing, because she writes from the solid ground of scripture and then shares her own messy story in which God has shown up for her. As women, we learn that God is present in our mothering and our work, in the days of focused accomplishment and on the days when we feel like a failure. A daily dose of scripture, even just one verse, read thoughtfully and applied skillfully gives your mind a good place to go–along with the reassurance that healing and hope are on the way.
Like it or not we are all in the process of healing. Jesus came for this. His heart is tender toward the messy and the broken. #HealingDevotionalforWomen @myinkdance #RockridgePressTweet
And One Last Thing…
Have You Received this FREE Gift?
I’ve developed a free guided meditation to encourage you in a deep dive into the truth of Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” I’ve found that the surest antidote for the poison of the lies we tell ourselves is LARGE doses of truth, and I’m committed to the process of helping women to become confident Christ-followers and students of God’s Word. Click on the button below for your free gift…
Many thanks to First Place 4 Health and Rockridge Press for providing copies of these books to facilitate my reviews, which are, of course, offered freely and with honesty.
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