“Linger” as a word for 2017 was a complete surprise, but so serendipitous.
A new friend used the word, and it struck me immediately. Another friend wrote a book and used the word as a synonym for her main point. And I realized that my husband often invited me to set aside my busy schedule and linger with him.
Then God said, “Judy, I love to be with you. I’m grateful for your faithful work and service for others—and for Me. But I really want you to slow down, to take time…to linger with Me.”
So I said “yes.”
It’s been a great word, applied sometimes richly, sometime haphazardly.
When I have lingered, I’ve heard God tell me sweet somethings: He loves me; He calls me Friend: He says I am His daughter: He treasures me; He has plans for me; He blesses me.
When I have lingered, He has given me glimpses of how He is transforming me: He gives me a new heart; a new mind. I begin to think as God thinks.
When I have lingered, He has met me in His Word, in church, with friends, as my husband and I talk and pray, and on my long prayer walks.
When I have lingered, I have learned to ask Him questions and linger to listen to His replies: What do you want to say to Me? What am I missing? What do you want me to do?
The desire and effort to linger continued through summer. Then life got really busy, and the lingering lessened. I have missed those extended times with God: talking, listening, learning, growing.
Until December, until Advent. Advent is waiting, and lingering and waiting are surely connected. Each day in Advent I have Celebrated Abundance, an Advent devotional by Walter Brueggemann.
Oh, how the joy and sweetness of lingering with my Savior has returned. Each reading seemed too short as I gained new light and ventured further and further into all that has happened and will happen because of the arrival of our Savior as a tiny baby who became like us so He could linger with us.
I know I have more to learn–to linger more consistently. So I am grateful that my word for 2018 is “grace” and that my God gives grace for such a slow learner as I.
What about you? What happens when you linger with our God?
C2017 Judy Douglass