The day was challenging and my husband knew it. No matter how hard I try to conceal my frazzled nerves for his sake, he sees right through me. It’s a hidden blessing. And this day, he didn’t even hesitate. Simply offered to take our son out for a bit alone. Before I knew it, I was nestled in my chair catching up on my Bible in 90 days reading. With just the tick of the clock to keep me company.
Looking back, I see how God set the stage perfectly. How He ensured my undivided attention while I read it. The census sin of David summarized in I Chron 21.
I don’t expect you to remember the story. It’s mentioned a couple of times in the Old Testament, but is generally just that: mentioned. To recap in my own words, satan tempted David to take a census of the people of Israel. When David instructed his army commander Joab to do just that, he was warned it was a sin. David insisted. And the Lord was not happy.
“God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it.
Then David said to God,
‘I have sinned greatly by taking this census.
Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.’”
I Chronicles 21:7-8 NLT
No sooner did I get to the 8th verse and the churning started. My hands turned clammy and I knew. God wanted me to take a second look. There was a lesson for me here.
I read it over and over. My Lenten journey had just begun and I was certain this was something God wanted me to leave at the cross this year. But I didn’t know how it pertained to me.
My first thought was obvious. A census has a lot to do with stats. Am I focusing too much on my stats? Maybe blogging stats or Facebook/Twitter friend stats?
I was sure that was it and prayed for forgiveness. I offered to ignore those stat pages. They don’t mean anything to me, anyway, as I have no idea how many people God wants me to reach. And I went to bed thinking this would be my easiest sacrifice yet.
When I woke the next morning, I knew I was missing it. I only had part of it. There was still more lesson to be learned.
Friends, it took my entire journey to the cross this year to see it. After finally asking for help from a few friends (thank you, friends), I came to discover what God was trying to show me.
When my heart was really ready to hear, this is what I felt Him say to me:
“My child — you matter to me. You can bring Me glory by being the way I made you to be. I don’t need the multitude, I need you. You to show up and be my voice. Don’t worry about who you’re speaking to, just have your words come from me. Don’t worry about making mistakes, I see your heart. And intentions do matter.
“My beloved, it is you I want. I have big plans for you. And how many friends, readers, posts, even children you have doesn’t change the way I feel about you. You see, it’s you I want to have the relationship with. And if you will give me your whole heart, I can do wonders through you. Let me take care of the details. That’s not where joy comes from, anyway.
“My love, leave those worries at the cross. Give them to me and I’ll replace them with a peace that passes your understanding. Keep your eyes on Me, child, and I’ll take care of the rest.
“Let Me delight in taking care of you. Let Me show you what I’m capable of. Let Me bring you closer to Me. For you matter. You are not just a number to Me.”
On Good Friday, I did just what He asked of me. I left those worries at the cross. I don’t intend to pick them up again. Thank You, Lord, for carrying my burdens. With this light load I can be what You’ve made me to be.
How about you? Do you have a load that needs to be lightened? Do you have any worries to leave at the cross? It’s never too late. He’s ready and waiting. For you matter to Him.
Thanks for sharing your time with me.