Be Still

Dear Friends,

Over the past few weeks these words from Psalm 46:10 have been very much on my mind: "Be still, and know that I am God!" (NLT).  They are a great reminder for me during the hustle and bustle and worry of everyday life.

Be... we are human 'beings', yet we find it hard sometimes, or at least I do, to just 'be'. We can find it hard not to feel guilty when we're not doing something.  But God invites us to be with him, to be who we are, to be ourselves, to be real, to be in a relationship with him.  With him there's no need to pretend to be someone or something we're not.

Be God's presence, to be still physically, to quiet our minds, to be present, to sit in solitude and quiet with him, at peace, calm, unhurried, alone with him, to listen to him, to 'do nothing'.

How I struggle with stillness.  As I said, I find it hard just to 'be'.  If I'm watching television in the evening with Jason, I have to be doing something while I watch it, so I'll pick up my crochet or iron some clothes.  Even laying in bed, preparing for sleep, I'm not still, my legs are restless.  And it's even harder for me to learn to be still in my mind.  I start off being still in God's presence, focusing on him, but then my mind wanders all over the place, it's not still and it's not quiet.  All kinds of thoughts push into my mind for attention, such as what I need to get done this day, or a conversation I need to have with Jason.  Do you struggle with stillness too?  So, every time my mind wanders I bring it back to that place of quietness, of resting in God.  Yes, I wish I didn't need to do that, I wish my mind didn't wander, but at least I can choose to bring it back to focusing on him.  With perseverance and practice I believe I can hone this skill.

Know...  God wants us to know him, not just know about him.  He wants us to know him intimately and deeply. He longs for a relationship with us and so he invites us into his presence.  How wonderful that the God of the universe, the Sovereign, Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, wants to be with me, to be with you.  What a privilege that you and I can sit at our Lord's feet and learn from him.  He has all the time in the world for us.  The question is do we have time for him?

I am God... when we spend time with God it puts everthing else into perspective.  He is God and we are not.  He is in control, he is supreme, and our lives are in his hands.  We can trust him, we need not fear and we need not worry.  We can choose to submit to him and his will.  Reminding ourselves of who he is brings focus to our day.  It releases us from the burden of any difficulties and trials we may be bearing because we can hand them all over to him.

I confess that so often in the past I've rushed into God's presence in the morning.  I've spent little time preparing my heart, little time waiting on him and what he has to say.  I've felt hurried and rushed and it's as if I've said to God, "Well, here I am, this is the time I've got for you and this is what I've got to say." Then I've read the bible, asked him to speak, but perhaps not waited long before I've decided I'm done and it's time for me to move on with the day's activities.

But over the past few weeks I've been changing that.  Instead I've taken that verse and this is what I've been doing:  (It's an exercise based on one given at a seminar I attended at Spring Harvest in April.) 

I sit still, I breathe deeply and slowly, I calm my mind and then, without rushing I say this:
"Be" (pause)
"Be still" (pause)
"Be still and know" (pause)
"Be still and know that I am God" (pause)
"Be still and know" (pause)
"Be still" (pause)
"Be" (pause)

I sit still for between 5-10 minutes.  Quiet, soaking in God's presence, still in my mind and my body.  When my mind wanders I bring it back to the quietness of just being with God.  Waiting on him.

Then I open his word and continue being with God.  Unhurried and unrushed.

I still have a way to go with this, I haven't perfected the discipline of stillness or solitude with God, but I'm learning and I'm already experiencing the blessing of beginning my day with God in this way.

It's also a great exercise to try at any time of the day, especially when we begin to feel frazzled.  When we feel like we are losing our peace, when we feel overwhelmed, when things are threatening to bring us down.  It helps us to refocus on God and know that he is in control, he has everything in hand and we can rest in him.  Why not try it at lunch time or a mid morning break?  If you're at work and the only place to be alone is in the water closet, then why not go there, shut the door, and quietly go through the exercise.  No-one else need know what you are doing.

This exercise can also be done using other verses from God's word.  There are so many we can choose from. Another similar verse and which is also great to meditate on is Psalm 37:7 "Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him" (AMP).  I'm staying with Psalm 46:10 for now because I'm finding it so meaningful and I'm just not ready to leave it yet.

To Think About:
We can be so busy doing things, that we just don't take the time to 'be'.  How can you create space in your week to just 'be'?

Focusing on God at the start of a new day sets us up for the rest of the day.  Consider setting your morning alarm just 5 minutes earlier so that you can be still and alone with God and try the exercise outlined above for yourself.  I challenge you to give up 5 minutes of sleep to do this.  Will you accept the challenge?

What difference does it make to your day when you make God a priority from the moment you wake?




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