When my oldest daughter was a little one I would FREQUENTLY say, “Be still.” She was (and still is) a lively, full of energy type. And often as a toddler she was too busy to take the time to hear, or to watch what was going on around her. She was so involved getting to know everyone, or finding out what others were doing that she kept me going just watching her constant activity.
So…in my motherly sort of way the words, “BE STILL”, would continue to be a tactic that didn’t meet with much success. They were never said in frustration or anger, yet I’d hold her close, look her in the eyes and repeat “BE STILL” . It wasn’t until years later, she asked me, “Mom, why do you always tell me that?” She obviously didn’t see the need for it.
I’m kind of chuckling as I watch her try to get her boys attention. Pay back? (thought with a quiet grin)
Our work-worshipping world has made the completion of tasks our prime source of fulfillment. We are losing the opportunity to simply enjoy people, to connect with God, and to experience the life that He has intended for us all along.
God’s fatherly love says the same words I spoke to my daughter:
“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” NLT Psalm 37:7
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” NIV Psalm 46:10
“All you people of the world, be still because the Lord is coming. He is getting ready to come down from his holy temple in heaven.” NIRV Zechariah 2:13
“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” ESV Mark 4:39
I suppose my goal with my daughter was a bit like Jesus’ plan when He was talking to the storm. (another grin)
But God is commanding us to ‘be still‘. It’s not a suggestion.
The passage that puts me in a state of trembling and awe is “Be still, and know that I am God… Exalted”.
The phrase takes a different direction for me when I read:
“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” This is what He wants us to obey when we crowd our lives.
What does being still say to our busy-ness?
In the past couple of months or so I’ve read some wonderful blog posts about this very idea.
Remember when I shared about the busy-ness of making lists and the great comments from Gwen Smith? She continues on with these words of wisdom:
“The good news is that we don’t need to face our lists alone. God offers to come along side of us daily to provide the strength, perspective, and wisdom we need. He helps us prioritize our days when we turn to Him in prayer…sitting before the Lord just to sit with Him … quietly … expectantly … to listen… (to) exercise the spiritual discipline of being quiet before God – the power of quiet.
Direction came. Joy resounded. Mercy rained. Peace—deep peace fell. It was when the companion of God’s Spirit had begun to transform my soul, my thoughts, my goals…Then — order, soul order. Peace, compelling peace. Joy, divine joy. It all comes. I sat in wonder. Still. In His presence.” The Power of Quiet
Her friend, Mary Southerland, used the word SOLITUDE. She discovered that there are over 400 verses in Scripture that talk about time and gently suggests that “time management is important to God…time is a precious gift. Every morning we are credited with 86,400 seconds.” God wants us to find rest in our busy-ness. He truly does. He wants to help us sort everything all out and make time for just you and Him. Both of these writers urge us to be quiet and listen—to be still and wait for Him to give you something:
peace of mind,
a renewed sense of control, or vision,
a whisper that speaks to you,
an answer to a question
“Every minute of every day is either wasted or invested…One of the most valuable investments we can make is to spend time in solitude…I once read an African proverb, “Lord Jesus, make my heart sit down.”…deliberately and diligently setting aside time to “sit down” at the feet of Jesus…Time spent in solitude allows our heart to be still before God.” Making My Heart Sit Down
So, here I am suggesting to all of you dear readers: make it a priority to have your own time with God who loves you, who wants to give you His presence. He wants to help you through your busy-ness.
I have a goal list (because otherwise my spirit would wander all day long) and the word STILL is on it. The first time I tried to just sit and clear my mind and wait for His thoughts to come, I had to work at not creating talk in my head. It’s waiting for God the Father and Christ’s Spirit to bring you what you need for that moment. Just 5 minutes. Carve just 5 minutes out of your day. Can you do that for yourself?
And… I hope when I say to both my daughters, “Be still,” I will be encouraging them to seek the pleasure of His company, to stop and listen, to enjoy His rest.
Surely you know. Surely you have heard. The Lord is the God who lives forever, who created all the world.
He does not become tired or need to rest. No one can understand how great his wisdom is.
He gives strength to those who are tired and more power to those who are weak. Even children become tired and need to rest, and young people trip and fall. But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired. Isaiah 40:28-31 NCV
Enjoy this song…and then find your STILL.