In the Sojourning

We sit across from another couple in the brightly lit cafe, cups of coffee and tea warming our hands. We have flown back from a quick visit to Washington and I’m a jumble of emotions.

A job has been offered and we are praying over it…and I make a small comment about how much I have loved seeing the horizon each day. I had showed a picture from my daily walks to a friend’s son while we are gone and there was a pause before he looked at me all wide-eyed…”There’s nothing there!” he said bewildered. “I didn’t realize how barren it was,” his mama affirmed.

I made mention of this to our friends, and we laughed. And in a breath Tony made a comment I had never thought of before.

This man that I married, loves the mountains and forests; game for anything that means adventure and challenge.

He loves these things because it means you have to move forward in order to see what’s next – that’s part of the thrill in how he was created. There’s joy in the journey.

Me? Give me wide, open, barren prairies…I want to see the challenge before it’s on top of me, time to prepare for the weight of it.

Psalm 119 seems to move forward with a cadence that doesn’t slow.

Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.

Psalm 119:54

I wish I could say that I have faced this wide season with grace, that I have embraced the unknown with joy and thanksgiving, but the snow covered prairies give me no glimpse of answers to my questions and my heart has often reflected a storm tossed ocean in the midst of my praying.

I begin to wonder if I bit off more than I could chew in memorizing Psalm 119 – maybe I have. So I put it down.

Political talk begins to build momentum and like the frozen path I take each morning, division begins to appear like the small fissures beneath my feet. How easily I forget the peace that settles the mind when God’s Word forms my thoughts, rather than the thoughts of man.

That is, until I listen to a podcast while Barney tries to pull my arm off as the snow falls and a raven circles overhead – it is in that moment I am reminded of the beauty and importance of memorizing Scripture.

I click on this link and feel like I can breathe – this is doable, even if a break is taken.

If you have been memorizing with me, I am so grateful. This week will see us finishing up Psalm 119:59-60 when we will then take a break, so that we don’t lose momentum or joy in the discipline.

Starting March 9, I am planning on memorizing a shorter book in the New Testament…maybe implementing a different schedule process. You are welcome to join me – I will write about it here next Monday.

This time of sojourning isn’t ending for us – while there is a job on the horizon, we are still waiting on a home to open up…and while we wait, there will be another temporary one we can move into.

The Hebrew is maguwr – it speaks of a dwelling, a pilgrimage, of being a stranger, of the temporary.

It is in this unsettled space that what is sure, are God’s statutes – these are, according to Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, that which is established or definite. These are what become my song, the rhythm that my feet walk to, even if I can’t see what’s next, or where we will finally land.

The sojourning season will ultimately lead my feet to an eternity with the Unchanging and Faithful God Who always was, is, and always will be.

Find the final 2 weeks of the Psalm 119 challenge here. (Will continue on after the next memory challenge.)

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