Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Being Still

“Be still, and know that I am God.”Psalm 46:10a

I don't know about you, but I know all too well about me, that I am rarely still before my God. My prayer life is very weak. It's a struggle to pray for me in the morning. Reading my Bible and asking God to open my eyes that I might understand His precepts and principles better in His Word comes easy. But prayer and resting in His presence is difficult. I could easily blame the ailment of our age—busyness—and its ripple effects in my life, but the truth is I am just not a very still and patient person. I am so busy with all the activity of my day that I find it sometimes “slow” work just to spend quality time with my precious daughter as she explores every rock, leaf, and branch on our walks together around our block. Sometimes I like concentrating on her explorations because in it I do find rest. I am struck with the awareness that there is much about this life that begs slow and easy exploration, the kind my daughter exudes.

But being still also has another meaning in the presence of our Almighty God. This application came to me the other day in the quiet of my heart when I was meditating on a particular prayer request. Because I didn't quickly see how this particular request could be answered and I was contemplating another of my own ideas to try to quickly achieve the result I was praying for, God had stopped my thoughts in their tracks. In that moment, while I was reading Psalm 46, the Lord clearly, gently, and pointedly told me to “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Again, I don't know about you, but when my eyes don't see what my heart is begging to see, I have a tendency to work in my flesh (not walking in the Spirit) toward accomplishing what I believe and perceive to be God's will. The result being that I often find elusive the rest and the stillness this verse addresses. So, it was nice to be reminded at just the right time that God is in control. No matter how big or small my worries and concerns are I can trust God. He wants me to be still from my own works and ideas, and to know that He is in control. He can turn my burdens and my cares into the directions He wants them to go, and all I need to do is just rest in Him.

I know I've often discussed this in previous posts, but I wanted to mention again that I am so grateful for a God who wants to and does communicate to my heart's needs through His word. This is why I try to avail myself of His counsel daily in the morning before all the day's activity begins. I hope I don't come across self righteous or somehow laudatory when I say I really do love reading God's word for this very reason, as if I am somehow better than those who don't or don't even have these kinds of moments with God while reading His word. That's not my hope. My prayer is all who read this do have those very sweet times of fellowship with the Lord, and if they don't, that somehow they may be encouraged to ask God for them. With that said, God's counsel may come in other ways, but it will never contradict His word. So it is still wise to read His word to familiarize yourself with it so that you will not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14).

In the end, I believe God is asking us all to be still, and know that He, and He alone is God, and that every care, every worry, can be placed in His hands. He knows what He is doing. Sometimes, He may guide us in such a way to be a part of His work, but sometimes I believe He simply calls on us to rest in Him, as He takes care of our heart's desires and needs.

This was such a timely lesson for me in all my busyness, in all my assumptions that somehow my prayer requests need to be answered by me and my plans in my way. To use a modern phrase, we can sum it up with, “God's got this.”

He does. So, let's honor Him by trusting our needs and hopes and all of our despair and care into His precious hands.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—Matthew 11:28-30

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