“I believe that the greatest truths of the universe don't lie outside, in the study of the stars and the planets. They lie deep within us, in the magnificence of our heart, mind, and soul. Until we understand what is within, we can't understand what is without.” ―Anita Moorjani
Do you ever have those moments where your skin tingles a little extra, like someone else’s guardian angel just whisked by in a hurry to get to their next assignment? Those moments where you’d swear God was sitting right next to you?
Maybe it's in the car, at the office, or the coffee shop, but the veil between natural and supernatural seems particularly thin? It doesn’t have to be for any specific reason, and the space doesn’t have to be necessarily sacred, but do you ever have those days where it seems like God is whispering things - yet unknown - to the deepest parts of your soul?
Your ways, O Lord, are higher and
Your knowledge is immense;
So give us strength to trust You when
Life doesn’t make much sense. —Sper
Logic might say:
It was just a strand of hair that tickled my neck.
Or the air conditioner being turned on in the office.
It could have been a nerve-ending gone haywire.
Or a random case of goosebumps.
Maybe so. Maybe not.
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion.
These rare and precious moments happen to me from time to time, and all I can say is that they feel like God. I can’t argue it with logic. I can’t explain it away with science. I can only tell you that in those brief moments, time stands still, and I sense the embrace of God. Those silent few seconds, when no words are audibly spoken, deep things are being written on my soul.
In the silence, I’m transported to another dimension. I close my eyes, and I feel grace washing over me. I know it’s grace, and not just a whiff of the honeysuckle outside my window because the honeysuckle has never given me eternal hope in the midst of trying times. This silence - this washing - the Comfort belongs only to the Holy Spirit of God - an invisible Connector between my soul and my Creator.
In Acts 17, some Greeks inscribed a message TO THE GOD NOBODY KNOWS, but the greatest mystery of faith is that this seemingly unknown God is intricately familiar to every woven fiber of my soul.
THE GOD NOBODY KNOWS isn’t a human-made statue. It’s not an idol, carved by hand. God doesn't equate to dogma, devised by the imagination of those who hunger for power. The God of Mystery is thicker than the incense that fills the altar. And in that Mystery, I store up hope for future days when my heart is overwhelmed.
So to whom will you compare me, the Incomparable? Can you picture me without reducing me? I am God, and there is none like Me. - Isaiah 46:5-9
It’s easy for me to get caught up in trying to answer all of life’s big questions. In this season of my life, there seems to be a new existential crisis at every turn. Should I take the Bible at face value? Is the Jesus of the Bible the only way to God? Can I embrace my faith without abandoning my intellect? While the old me sought solutions for these and many more stumbling blocks, the new me is learning the power of the pause.
As I slow down and seek stillness, God whispers truth to my soul:
Breathe in: I love you.
Breathe out: I am here.
Breathe in:I will never turn my face from you.
Breathe out: I am more than your wildest dreams.
For in Him we live and move and have our being. - Acts 17:28
I’m leaning in. I’m taking deep breaths. At this point, I’m not even asking what God is saying. Instead, I am embracing Divine Mystery. My spirit is being cultivated by The God Who Sees Me. I have a deep inner-knowing that the Source of Love is here with me, breathing life back into my dry and cracked lungs. And that is more than enough for me.
"Until we understand what is within, we can't understand what is without.” ―Anita Moorjani (via @iamsteveaustin) #graceismessy #catchingyourbreath
Do you ever have those days where it seems like God is whispering things - yet unknown - to the deepest parts of your soul? (via @iamsteveaustin) #graceismessy #catchingyourbreath #mystery
I’ve exhausted myself, attempting to live up to every unrealistic expectation of religious leaders and armchair theologians. For a while, I became an angry Deconstructionist, too.
Most days, I still have more questions than answers. But I'm okay with that now.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
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