Discovering HOPE While SELAH-brating God
I love discovering new words... especially when their meaning is something that speaks to my soul. SELAH is one of those soul-speaking words. I discovered it when reading one of Melanie Shankle's devotionals a few years ago. SELAH has several definitions, which adds to its allure for me and enabled me to make a divine connection. It is a musical term that means "to rest, to pause, to take a little break". SELAH also means “to lift up, exalt”, according to the New American Standard Hebrew Lexicon. SELAH is used seventy-four times throughout The Bible. SEVENTY-FOUR times... and it took me MANY trips around the sun to discover SELAH. Perhaps I need to be more observant or… I need more SELAH (REST!).
If I have gained anything from this pandemic pause (a forced SELAH), it's that I need to take time to rest... rest in the little things... through a grateful heart. I've mentioned my gratitude journal in previous posts. It's where I write ten things I am grateful for each day: sunshine and rain, butterflies and rainbows, setbacks and setups. I list the things I observe in my immediate surroundings. I also list the way I feel inside: joy, peace, God's love, The Holy Spirit's presence. This exercise has been life changing for me. It has transformed my perspective, FROM what I DON’T have TO what I DO have, while in SELAH (HOPE in the HUDDLE) mode.
When we are in SELAH mode, our soul is quiet enough to hear God's voice. God can't speak to us when we are so busy that we forget to rest in Him and hear what He is speaking to our soul. Resting in God, gives us a new perspective. Resting in Him enables us to view our world as a full cup, not one that is empty. It’s when we focus on what we have, not what we don’t have. It’s when we stop comparing our insides to people’s outsides (thank you social media!). It's where we find our joy... it's where we find our HOPE. That's what HOPE in the HUDDLE is all about... taking time out of our day to REST (SELAH) in Him and discover HOPE in the little things.
This world is so big, so full of distractions, so replete with worries, so overcome with anxiety that we NEED to find HOPE in the little things. We NEED to take time to recharge by discovering God's LOVE, God's GRACE, and God’s HOPE in our lives… in the little things within our HUDDLE. Not only can God can be found IN what we see in our immediate surroundings, but God can also be found WITHIN us when we are in HUDDLE mode (SELAH anyone?).
You see, God has given each of us unique gifts that make us His workmanship. Workmanship... yet another word I recently discovered (It's true that you are never too old to learn). Workmanship, in Biblical terms, refers to a person of notable excellence. According to Isik Abla Ministries, a skilled artist creates an amazing piece of art, places his signature on it and calls it... a masterpiece. That's what God did when He created each one of us. He designed us with a specific purpose in mind and He put His eternal signature on us. We are a person of notable excellence in God's eyes. I don't know about you, but I sometimes forget that I am His workmanship. I need daily reminders to take note of my excellence. Who am I kidding… sometimes I need reminders every minute!
It's in the SELAH moments that I am able to reflect ON my God given gifts while being grounded IN God. It's during these SELAH moments where I turn my focus to the One Who Created It All; giving Him the glory. When we give God the glory, we exalt Him above ALL things... we lift God up over ourselves. When exalt God, we focus on eternal goals, not earthly objectives. We lift up what truly matters… eternity with Him. We exalt, with a laser-like focus on the eternal, while the earthly distractions become blurred and less significant. When we REST in God, we EXALT God… in this, we marry both SELAH definitions.
It's the connection of these SELAH definitions that punctuates Godly inspired SELAH moments. As you REST in Him, you EXALT Him. You REST IN and LIFT UP His unconditional love, infinite wisdom and glorified grace. When we REST; we are able to focus ALL our senses on God. We SEE Him in ALL things. We HEAR His voice guiding our steps. We FEEL His presence in our bones. We even SMELL and TASTE Him in all things that nourish our soul. Our senses are awakened to the divine in ALL things. Essentially, when we REST in Him, we EXALT Him above ALL things. We focus on His Word, His Wisdom, His Power, His Grace, His Love. God takes precedence over ALL things when we are in SELAH mode. In SELAH mode, (Wait. For. It.) we... SELAH-BRATE HIM!
While we are experiencing fewer celebrations due to the pandemic of 2020, my HOPE is that we take advantage of our additional downtime to SELAH-brate God’s masterpieces. May we SELAH-brate all the little things AROUND us while also SELAH-brating the masterpiece WITHIN us. God never makes MISTAKES… He makes MASTERPIECES. He made us all for a beautiful purpose… a purpose that ultimately gives Him the glory. God’s signature is on our hearts. He delights in us. We are His and He is our HOPE. Take time each day to discover HOPE while SELAH-brating Him.