It was one of those still summer days.
You know the ones. Where everything feels like you’re walking knee-deep in wet sand. Where all you can do is sit still because the mugginess embraces you with her heavy fingertips.
It was on one of these afternoons just a few months ago, where I was choosing the outdoors instead of relief inside. One of those silently still days. The kids were running around and I was watching them, sipping iced chai. My mind mimicked the kids, the back and forth, around and around. A burst of impatience here, a frustrated wondering there, questions about the future and a stubborn wanting my way today.
It wasn’t until I looked up into the trees above that I really noticed the stillness. The leaves appeared immobile, the stiff air choking their movement. I glanced around at the dozens of trees and it all seemed to be the same. It was peaceful and eerie at the same time, the thought of all of these trees hovering in their silence. A mocking of the silence of our season.
I leaned back and closed my eyes and felt this tiny hint of a breeze across my face. And in the silence, I heard a whisper, “I Am.”
I opened my eyes and looked up again. Instead of looking at all the leaves at one time, my eyes focused on just a few of them on a single branch. And I saw it. The slightest movement. Nothing you would notice with a glance. Only something you could see by forcing your eyes to focus. I looked at another branch. The same thing happened. As though a tiny unfelt breeze was all it took to lift the leaves for just a second.
And I heard Him again whisper, “I Am.”
It was such a quiet and simple moment of my summer. And yet in the blur of all that has passed, it’s the one moment I remember the most.
So many people have asked us, what’s next? Where are you in your journey? When are you leaving? I guess it’s to be expected when you put out there what your family is stepping into and then staying silent for months at a time.
To be honest, I was thinking all summer of sharing. Even when there was nothing to share.
And yet, I felt like it was also a time to stay hidden. A time to stay close to Him with my thoughts and prayers. It wasn’t a time to spill words forth, even as they were building in my heart.
It was in the hiddenness, that the calm whisper came, “I Am.” The things I know are true about God He whispers in those simple words.
Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promises is faithful.”
When the season is hot and dry, He whispers, “I Am.”
When you think He can’t possibly see you, He whispers, “I Am.”
When clinging to His promises is all you have, He whispers, “I Am.”
When it seems like nothing is happening, a small still movement of leaves reminds me that He is always moving. Even when our eyes can’t see. Even when He appears silent, His presence is always near. And He’s always working.
Staying hidden with God in the times that seem so dry is a place where true surrender can happen. When we don’t stop anticipating seeing His hand but when we want more to see His face. When the stillness and lack of movement don’t cause us to break down and ask why but rather cause us to see Him more.
He whispers to us, “I Am.” Can you hear Him?
That simple whisper is a reminder that He is God. And if we know Him, we know we can trust Him.
Those same trees that teased me with their stillness are now in constant movement. Colors changing, falling swiftly and turning brown and crunchy. A reminder that nothing stays the same. That seasons come and go. That what once felt unmoving is slowly gaining momentum. A prompt to come out of hiding.
We recently took a big step. One that deserves a post of its own when the time is right.
While there have been many moments of wondering how this is all going to play out, there is also a knowing and a trusting that exists because we know Him. A deepening of our place of surrender.
Listen to the whisper, dear reader. In the midst of all you face, you can hear Him say, “I Am.” May it draw you deeper into Him and all He is calling you to.