We see things, hear things, experience change, and become afraid. But when we know we are precious to God, a deep peace can come and flood us with strength.
It was only a couple of words, and I felt stronger.
Words can cut, hurt, and harm, but they can also bring a deep sense of security.
Words can speak healing into pain like nothing else.
Your dark tunnel
There can be times in life where it feels like you are going through a dark tunnel.
There is a sense of abandonment and deep loneliness. Tiredness hangs off you like a wet towel. It’s enough to give up any sense of hope altogether.
And if you’ve been there a few times before, it seems like the brain has a fast-track off-ramp to this place.
Any little struggle catastrophizes you into this dark place with incredible speed. You somehow ‘pull yourself together’ and regain some footing, but you know it’s there, ready to swallow you up at a moment’s notice.
You’re vulnerable. Walking on the edge of a cliff, knowing even a tiny breeze of struggle could tip you over.
We are such self-reliant people, aren’t we?
We think we can live this life all on our own. We pride ourselves that we don’t need anyone else. We don’t even need God.
We worship the ‘self-made man’ or woman. There is a desire to be like them doing it their way.
But, in reality, we are very dependant on each other.
The writer of Ecclesiastes knows this well.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10
In moments of darkness, we need an intervention—a few short words empowered with love.
You hear a voice. You can’t see anyone, but you know something has been said in the atmosphere around you that is deeply personal, like the whispers of a mother comforting a child.
You are precious
You are loved
You are held
You are known
From this awareness of being known, there is a spark of strength. A tiny droplet of strength courages its way through your being.
I wonder if this is what happened to the biblical character Daniel.
There was a time where he felt a complete loss of strength.
‘My strength left me,
my face grew deathly pale,
and I felt very weak.’
He was having an encounter with the divine.
Finding a new strength
Daniel is a man who knows God in ways many others don’t. He interprets dreams, sees visions, all of which unsettles some. His wisdom has been wrought out of the hard rock of lived experience.
When you walk this close to the battle, there is a tiredness that comes.
We can expect to become physically tired in the midst of battle for our King and Lord;
we should not expect all of life to be a vacation. Francis Schaffer
Daniel has a vision and sees a man. No one else sees this man, but they are so aware of something supernatural that they run in terror.
Not Daniel. He is open to the different, unusual, and unexplainable.
I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist.
His body looked like a precious gem.
His face flashed like lightning, and his eyes flamed like torches.
His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people.
Only I, Daniel, saw this vision. The men with me saw nothing, but they were suddenly terrified and ran away to hide.
So I was left there all alone to see this amazing vision.
My strength left me, my face grew deathly pale, and I felt very weak.
Then I heard the man speak, and when I heard the sound of his voice, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground. Daniel 10:5-9
Put yourself in Daniels sandals.
What do you do? Feel the emotions you would be experiencing.
For Daniel, it shakes him to his core. He bends, buckles, and crumbles to the floor.
A gentle hand pulls him up, tells him how precious he is and then the ‘man’ goes on to explain the cosmic, supernatural spiritual battle going on—something entirely unseen for Daniel.
It’s a beautiful interaction between our frail humanness and God’s divinity wrapped up in this ‘man.’
I want that when I am tired and weary. When the strength to go on has got up and gone, I crave an intervention. I want the skin to skin connection with divinity.
The words we need to hear
I’m not sure what Daniel saw. Was it a man? Was it an angel? Was it the Christ?
But the words that were spoken were so important.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God.
Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!”
As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him,
“Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” Daniel 10:19
There is something very intimate about being very precious to someone else.
It’s like you’ve got the inner circle thing going on. You’re the one who gets to know the intimate side of the other. Being precious is something that you covet away into yourself.
They choose you to be the one that they go deep with. They trust you because you have trusted them. There is a sacredness to this relationship. It’s love, but it’s also something deeper. Something that words cannot express. It’s nonverbal. It’s beauty in a tender glance of knowing.
Our humanity doesn’t know what to do with this level of being known. We shy away, we reject it, when all along we want to be held in it. We don’t know what to do with it.
Yet a teaspoon of this knowing pours a gallon of strength into that dry place.
Daniel feels a little stronger.
It’s like something has shifted in the core of his being.
He knows he is loved, held, known.
Something of his fear has died. It had to, so something new could be born.
The words to say
What are the words you would most like to hear within the battle you are in?
Are you tired and fatigued from the struggle?
Here are some words that I often share.
- You are known
- You are loved
- You are precious
- You are held
- You are not alone
- We can do this
These are all words I think the ‘man,’ angel, Christ would want me to say into the weariness of others.
In my relationships, I want others to know that they are not alone. That strength comes when we embrace each other’s humanness.
We’re not here to just problem-solve each other’s pain. More so, we are here to link arms with each other to take that next millimeter step together.
We are friends with fellow beggars.
Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread. D.T. Niles
Soaking in it
So I soak my soul in the deep awareness of ‘being very precious’ to God.
I invite those words to seep into my thinking. I ask God to heal the strange awkwardness that this creates in me.
‘Could this really be true?’
Slowly it becomes a core belief within.
The seed has been sown. With care and nurture, a new and beautiful strength starts to grow strong.
Fear, anxiety, worry are displaced by the awareness of being known by something greater than one’s self. It’s like peace comes to worry and fear and says for them to ‘get out of the way.’
Could you give a few prayer-soaked words to a fellow beggar today?
“Don’t be afraid, for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!”
Quotes to consider
- A ‘domesticated Jesus who sounds like us, makes us comfortable, and commends our opinions is no Jesus at all.’ Dale C. Allison
- Immature spirituality focuses on experience. Mature spirituality focuses on seeing and knowing. David Benner
- In active listening to our feelings we encounter the Holy, not in the earthquake and fire outside but, like Elijah, “in the sound of a gentle breeze” (1 Kings 19:23). The Kingdom of God is in our midst. Brennan Manning
- See you standing in the door against the dark
Fireflies around you like a crown of sparks
You blow me a kiss that blurs my vision
Blurs the human conditionYou’re the ocean ringing in my brain
You are my island ripe with cane
Catch the scent of strange flowers when you pass
Fluid motion like the wind in grassIt’s your eyes I want to see
Looking into mine
Got you live on my mind
All the timeLight me like incense in the night
Light me like a candle burning bright
Light me like a searchlight in the sky
Time means nothing when I look in your eyesIt’s your eyes I want to see
Looking into mine
Got you live on my mind
All the time
Bruce Cockburn Live on my mind
Questions to answer
- What feelings get generated when you are told that you’re precious?
- What are the words you most need to hear at this moment?
- If ‘Two are better than one’ who are you ‘twoing’ with?