When We Find Him in the Knots

I’ve been obsessively reading The Circlemaker by Mark Batterson recently.  He talks a lot about God’s promises throughout the Bible, and how circling them (literally, with a pen, and figuratively, with your soul and mind) can fuel your faith and encourage your prayers. 
For whatever reason, I opened up to Deuteronomy the other day.  Not usually one of my first choices when I go to read the Bible, but apparently it was time for a change.
I happened upon Deuteronomy 33.  It is a list of the blessings that God gave to the tribes of Israel through Moses.  I don’t understand a whole lot of it, I’ll be real with you about that.
But the blessing on the tribe of Benjamin stuck out like an ice cream cone in a desert (That is what I would want in a desert, so whatever). 

It says this:
“The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.
The High God surrounds him all day long,
And dwells between his shoulders.”
I don’t know about you, but all that usually seems to dwell between my shoulders is a whole lot of stress and tension and knots. Especially after a long semester of my neck craned over a desk or a book, between my shoulders is a place of soreness and pain.
It is where I carry my burden, between my shoulders.
So when I read this, I first thought – “well, that is weird. Why would God dwell there – where pain is found?”
Then I realized…that is where we can always find Him.  He is in the middle of our anxiety, stress, tension, knotted-ness.  He is there not because He caused it but because He cares.

I realize that in other versions it is worded as Benjamin dwelling between the Lord’s shoulders, but in my version (ESV) it really portrayed the opposite to me.  I like thinking of it this way…we dwell between His shoulders, and He dwells between ours.

It changed my day.  Whenever I felt the pain of life between my shoulders I remembered that verse – “The High God surrounds her all day long, and dwells between her shoulders.”
I think we often don’t let our pain lead us to somewhere God wants to take us.  We whine and complain and take some advil.  But what if we changed our perspective and allowed it to be a way of meeting Him?

What if each time I get anxious I remember that He promises these things to me:
I am His beloved.

I will dwell in safety.
He surrounds me all day long.
He dwells in my pain.

These are promises worth circling.

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I write to process, and sometimes send those thoughts out into the void. Passionate about Jesus and people and bringing those two together. Living in and loving Denver. Working with college students, who are the coolest. Seeking Jesus and JOY in everything.

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