Saturday, January 25, 2014

Be Still

In the hectic pace of life, these words from one of my favorite verses of Scripture speak to my soul, but what do they mean, really?  How do we follow this command to stillness?  This verse came to mind as I was reading in Exodus Moses' command to the Israelites to "keep still".  How interesting that this encouragement to stillness is not found just once in Scripture, but multiple times.  Perhaps that signifies the fact that God knew His people would need a reminder of this for all time.  How intricately He knows our hearts and our struggles.  

As I read this verse from the psalmist in several different translations, I saw some unique words that described this idea of stillness even furtherIn the NASB, the beginning of the verse reads: "Cease striving and know that I am God."  And in the Message the entire verse reads, "Step out of the traffic!  Take a long loving look at me, your high God, above politics, above everything!"

"Cease striving"

"Step out of the traffic!"

"Be still"

Oh the power these words convey.  How they speak to my yearning, aching heart that is striving ever so much more than stilling.  Looking at the words from the Message, they seem to be a caution, a warning.  Danger!  When we are not still are we placing our very lives at risk?  I think of the parent racing to grab the child who in her play is wandering much to close to a busy street.  By continuing in our frantic pace, are we also wandering into that traffic filled way?

So what do we do?  How do we become still in the midst of our busy days that are filled with good things as well as struggles?  The first good news is God does not ask us to do this on our own.  In fact, the second part of the verse reminds us of who God is, "I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." NASB  This all-powerful God who loves and cares for us more deeply than we can every fully comprehend or imagine is strong enough to guide us into this stillness.  When we bring our cares to Him as He asks us to and trust Him with whatever burdens are keeping us from the stillness He commands, He will help us through each step.  I struggle at times (much of the time, really) with giving over a care or concern to God only to take it back almost immediately as I let it go, so my stillness tries are more sputters and starts than smooth sailing.  I pondered how could I fully release this things and not try to take them back on.  How do I keep these burdens and cares from continually filling and clouding my mind?  And it was in January 11th's Jesus Calling devotional that these words penned by Sarah Young spoke powerfully to my heart:
"When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me.  Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart.  Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results.  When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way.  If you keep on stating your concerns to Me, you will live in a state of tension.  When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive.  Thankful prayers keep your focus on My Presence and My promises."
Trust.  Thanksgiving.  Perhaps these are the paths to stillness.  Thank you, Lord, for guiding my life and reminding us that You are constantly at work on our behalf.  Praise be to God for His amazing grace and mercy.

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog through the #eandajanchallenge, & I absolutely love it! deeply spiritual and touching & speaks so much to the heart! I would love for you to visit my blog (been only at it for a month mostly-- so am new) I think there are some posts you will enjoy :)