In my prayers lately, I sense the Lord inviting me to linger. To stay with him longer. To rest in his words. To pause in his presence. Even just saying the word out loud slows my tongue. LINGER
Linger – what does that word mean? The dictionary defines to linger as “to be slow in parting or in quitting something; to remain although gradually dying, to move slowly.” Though at first I am attracted to the first and third definition, the reality of the second one – to remain although gradually dying – holds truth I often don’t face.
I reread the story from Genesis 18 the other day about three travelers who visit Abraham. I knew the basic tale – three visitors arrived at Abraham’s tent in the heat of the day. He fed them and is told his wife will have a baby. Sarah laughs.
But this time as I lingered with this story, I saw a new aspect to these verses: When three visitors unexpectedly show up, how does Abraham react? Abraham hurries and runs to offer hospitality – this is mentioned quite a few times. Welcoming God to his home involved offering water to drink and for bathing and something to eat. “While they ate, Abraham stood near them.” Can you imagine what Abraham was thinking?
“The Lord himself is here visiting me! He rested and now eats my food. I can’t believe he stopped here and wanted to be with me!”
Just think about that: God didn’t eat and run. He stayed, rested, and talked with Abraham. We have a God who when we welcome him, will linger and speak with us.
When God shows up in our lives – and he always does – how do we react? Do I stand by, watching and lingering with him? Too often I scurry off into the “heat of the day” having taking care of my chores for God. I rarely linger and stand near him, watching him.
The discipline of lingering is convicting me that God cannot be rushed. My relationship with him is not just another item on my to-do list to attend to and scratch off for the day.
Lingering is a holy invitation to watch, learn and listen.
Lingering opens my eyes to see life in the light of hope.
Lingering opens my ears to hear and find peace in God’s guaranteed promises.
Lingering opens my heart to receive this God who wants to be with me, to have a deepening relationship with me, and who wants to linger with me.
Wow, how can I not take the Lord up on this invitation?
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Lingering when the Lord comes to visit. I need to do that more often. Thanks dear friend.
Wow! Simply wow! I found myself lingering over your post, rereading phrases and thoughts, imagining Abraham’s rushing and the Angel of the Lord resting. Thank you for this meditation.