Tonight was important.

One load of laundry done, one head of hair washed, one worship album played, one woman before the one glorious God.

The day didn’t start well. I was tired as soon as I woke up and it was way too cold to think about leaving anytime soon. The lessons I taught were average at best and my attitude was apathetic. I decided that, tonight, it might be a good idea to opt out of helping at the youth Bible study I volunteer at weekly. Graciously, my team leader agreed it, and another volunteer was around to replace me.

I arrived back to my flat in the same nonchalant mood I’d left it in that morning. I’d already decided that this evening was going to be one of those evenings where I didn’t move from my bed and I’d just watch bad tv. Then I remembered my laundry basket and dragged myself to the washing machine to put a wash on. Then I remembered that my hair was in a similar state to the aforementioned clothes and so I decided to wash that too… (Stick with me here.)

It was only 8:00pm by this point… Normally I’d be out at some kind of activity- volunteering, attending, working…. But not tonight. If not out, I’d be with my boyfriend… but he had sermon preparation to do for Sunday so that didn’t happen either. Just me at 8:00pm with no agenda… Laundry done, towel on head.

It was then that I realised that this NEVER happens to me. My life is filled with so many (good!) things, that to just sit and rest and not have a plan is quite an alien concept to me.

But God.

But God was there with me… And for the first time in a long time, I heard his still small voice in the solace of the silence. Whether it was the stark contrast to the not so good day or the impromptu cancellation of my volunteering session, or my boyfriend not being around, I felt in that moment that God had orchestrated it. Fashioned it so that I’d sit at His feet.

I read a verse (1 Peter 3:4) after seeing it on some website I was carelessly browsing…and I kept reading it. I’ve read it before, but it just hit harder tonight. Imperishable beauty….a concept not subject to decay… A subject that endures forever. Just like God. And He longs for me to reflect Him, and so that’s what He wants to make me….and so on. I just loved it. Then I played a worship album I hadn’t heard before and the lyrics were so powerfully simple. Enduring truths wrapped in melodies. I saw God’s beauty in one Bible verse, one album…

God had created space for me to hear Him. Space for me to really rest.

He did for me what He did for His disciples. We read about it in Mark’s Gospel: “And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:31) He got me by myself in a place where I actually had time to sit down and eat, I wasn’t having to run out of the door again in five minutes, I wasn’t actually going anywhere… It was just me and Him and it was truly refreshment for my soul.

God longs for time with His children.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Tonight was important.