I have sat in the darkest nights and I know I am not alone. I have been through many sleepless nights, I know I am not alone. In the days of agony and despair…even if I felt alone, I know I was never alone. In the days of confusion, the days of solitude and absence –yes in those trying days, I know I have never been or will never be alone.
There are many of us, that have those moments when we think no one sees or we go through those contemplative conversations with God. There are those days where even “church” just doesn’t seem to help. That friend can’t help with the venting again. There seems to be little comfort with any outstretched hand. We read. We pray. Then we just pause.
So he wrote these words for us to be reminded, we only pause and pick right back up. Everyone has those moments where that pause feels like a lifetime of aching. It feels like an eternity. That pause is painful.
“But as for me afflicted and in pain—May Your salvation, God protect me.
I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
The poor will see and be glad—You who seek God, may your hearts live!”
Psalm 69:29-32 [New International Version]
The Passion Translation of Psalms by Brian Simmons shares deeper insight on the word “Selah.” It is written as, “Pause in His Presence” about 71 times in the book of Psalms. The beginning part Sela [Selah] is actually a Hebrew meaning that translates to rock. That in those times where we pause–it is written on that rock in heaven. It is not going unseen. It is not a moment that is unimportant, irrelevant or forgotten. It is not a moment that is meaningless. They are actually the most profound moments of history for us. We remember those painful moments all too well.
“But in the depths of my heart I truly know that You have become my Shield;
You take me and surround me with Yourself. Your glory covers me continually.
You alone restore my courage; for You lift high my head when I bow low in shame.
I have cried out to You and from Your holy presence. You send me a Father’s help.
So now I’ll lie down and go to sleep—and I’ll awake in safety for You surround me with your glory. Even though dark powers prowl around me, with their words like sharp arrows,
I won’t be afraid. I simply cry out to You:
“Rise up and help me, Lord! Come and save me!”
And You will slap them in the face, breaking the power of their words to harm me.
My true Hero comes to my rescue, for the Lord alone is my Savior.
What a feast of favor and bliss He gives his people!”
Pause in His presence…
Psalm 3:3-8 [The Passion Translation]
We pause. We meditate. We reflect. We cry out in that hour. What else can we do?
The message translation of Psalm 69:29 states,
“I’m hurt and in pain; give me space for healing, and mountain air….”
We need space for air and in those times where tears become our language we are given space and a time for healing. We breathe in His air. We breathe in that moment to let it all out. It hurts more to hold it in. We are built to be these expressive beings!
This pause is good for us, even when it hurts. This is only a temporary stop or rest, a time to reflect. It is a break in doing all the busy things that can sometimes cause such mental clutter. So I pause too. I cry. I travail in that moment. I breathe. I make that pause. This is the time where thoughts are many and the words are few…as the tears become your language. This is the most intimate time ever because you are YOU! Where no one else can see BUT God because even if you think that you are alone, He is there with you as it states in the NIV of Psalm 139:10, “Even there…your hand will guide me.”
Wherever I go, Your hand will guide me;
Your strength will empower me.
It’s impossible to disappear from You
or to ask the darkness to hide me,
For Your presence is everywhere
bringing light into my night.
Psalm 139:10-11 [TPT]
Remember in all those moments, He never leaves us alone. He uses these times to empower and strengthen us. It is not that it is over for us. It is that we only pause. We pick back up, right where God gives us the strength to do so.