Written by Melissa Ekart
“The Lord says, ‘Come away! Flee from Babylon in the land of the north, for I have scattered you to the four winds. Come away, people of Zion, you who are exiled in Babylon.’”
Does God really reach down His hand and ask people to come away with Him? I did not really think so until I heard Him called to the depth of my soul. I heard the invitation- the invitation to dance. But before He could ask me, like the exiled people, I needed to be willing to have a partner…willing to dance.
As a child I was home with God. I did not understand Him fully but I did know that He made everything. Jesus is His son that He sent to save us. I thought that was good enough; good enough to trust Him. Then came my teenage years, I now realize, my trust was based on conditions. Conditions I set because I knew me, not Him. When He didn’t show me love the way I thought He should, I decided to walk away. Away from where I use to feel home. I didn’t need His dance; my own has to be better.
My own dance was terrible. I made mistakes, hurt many people, and hurt myself. So I gave up. I went off the dance floor; to the chairs…I decided I can be good at watching. In the watching, I was reminded I still loved God and He still loved me. But could I trust the love that did not seem right to me. Every once in a while I would get adventurous and get up and dance a little for Him (still not with Him) I wanted to please Him. Thank goodness He still wanted to draw me out to the floor again. He did that by giving me a wonderful husband, Drew. That was a exciting dance. Then we had our 1st child. I felt like I was getting the hang of the dance floor. The it continued when I was pregnant with our 2nd child when we got news that sent me to the chairs again. Drew had cancer, brain cancer. At Drew’s first doctor’s appointment they told us, “make 5 year plans not 20 year plans”. I was 24 and Drew was 30. God, I thought you give good things to those you love? If that is true I guess you don’t like my dancing. I knew I needed Him, Drew needed Him, my little ones needed Him so I decided watching was what I needed to do, no dancing for me. Drew lived 6 years after is diagnosis loving God, loving our family, and fighting the ups and downs of cancer. God showed me through those 6 years of watching, my exile, His love. He blessed us with another child, even when the doctors told us we would not have anymore. Family supported us. Friends became family. Our church rallied around us. When Drew died I didn’t doubt God cared but could I trust?
Was I really ready to dance the trust dance? I did not think so. However, God knew differently. Shortly after Drew’s arrival in heaven, in the quiet of the morning, I was praying and I heard it. “Come away with me.” Did I hear right? And I heard it again and this time I felt His presence, “Come away with me.” Just like the exiled people in Zechariah’s time, God was calling me Home. This was a promise and an invitation from God asking His people to let Him lead them home, to a restored Jerusalem. In those 6 years of my life God was restoring my heart, restoring it to trust Him and to receive His love, no matter how it came. And now it was time for Him to lead me Home. Not just walking but DANCING!!!!
This amazing love for me- too good to be true! I do not have to know the steps of this dance. I do not have to guess what they are. I do not have to lead. I just have to follow. That is what makes a good dance partner- allowing the lead dancer to lead. Guessing what the next step will be is when I step on toes. But what is so wonderful about dancing with the Creator of everything is that He is compassionate and a passionate leader. Full of grace! He doesn’t mind if you step on His toes, trust me I do it a lot. He just smiles when I look up and say sorry. He tells me it is ok. I will never leave you, just keep dancing with me!