Prostrate in my heart I sat on the rogue mattress in our loft silently pouring out unutterable longings before my Maker. What are we doing here? What am I doing with my time? What is Your plan for my life? Do I have a purpose? What is all of this for?
Then, in the pause, I heard a whisper: just keep stitching.
Huh? Stitching? Not serving? Not trying harder? Not being more?
A wave of relief washed over my disheveled soul. Then I remembered why. I knew this word, “stitching.” It’s from Psalm 103:3: “…[He] heals all your diseases…”
“Heal” is raphah, in Hebrew, and it literally means “to mend, as by stitching.” So, I thought, maybe I will find some healing in this just keep stitching.
Fast forward a week or two. There it is again: raphah. But this time in the pages of a book by a sister on a similar journey. She points out a new verse highlighting this same word, Psalm 46:10:
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
“Still” is raphah again, but with a shockingly different meaning. Here it means “to sink or to fail.”
The stark contrast in definition has me groping for my Hebrew dictionary, choking on this word that had previously brought so much comfort. And yes, they are both true. But how?
Then I see it. This word is a verb. It is an action performed by a someone. In Psalm 46 it is an action I, a human being, am instructed to perform. I am to raphah and know that He is God. I am to sink and know that He is God. I am to fail and know that He is God.
In Psalm 103, God is the one performing the action. He, God, raphahs all my diseases. He mends all my wounds. He stitches my failures into something.
It seems to me that this word is like two sides of a coin, each side equally true depending which way you hold it. In my hands it looks like sinking deeper into grace and letting myself fail at things. But, in God’s hands it looks like healing and mending and stitching.
Then it all comes around again.
Just keep stitching.
Just keep sinking.
Just keep failing.
He will keep healing.
He will keep mending.
He will keep stitching.