Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Be Still

One of the Bible verses where I turn most often is Psalm 46:10: Be still, and know that I am God. A few years ago (my daughter is now ten), I jotted down some thoughts about “being still” which I’d love to share with you.
* * * * *
Our 3½ year old daughter talks all of the time. From the moment she wakes up in the morning until nap time; from when she wakes from her nap until bed time – she is talking. And it’s not just idle jibberish flowing from her thought processes. She is asking questions, providing commentary, telling stories – all requiring the attention and input of her listener. You cannot get by with an occasional “yes, dear” when you hear her voice inflection indicate she is waiting for a response. No, you have to be actively listening in order to properly respond, “yes, Batman is a good guy,” or “no, Grace’s party is next Saturday,” or “no, Owen’s light saber won’t really cut your head off.” An incorrect or inadequate response runs the risk of a replay of all that led up to the question in the first place.
While I would prefer a bit less verbosity first thing in the morning, I’m not complaining. It is amazing and very entertaining to see how her mind works and is developing.
It would be nice, however, when bed time approaches, for her to wind down a bit more than she does. Our routine calls for: a bath, brush teeth, read a story, rock, climb in bed, a drink of water, sing songs, pray, hug/kiss, sleep. Until the “sleep” stage rolls around, she really doesn’t wind down very much at all. While rocking, I may get about ten seconds of good, quiet, still, snuggling. Then, its back to squirming, laughing, . . . being Rachel.
Again, I’m not complaining. This is a great stage of her life, where she is “doing” so much for herself and she is capable of so remarkably expressing herself verbally.
But I do sometimes long for that baby stage where I could just hold her for long periods. She was so dependent on me for everything. She would rest and relax in my arms and drift off to sleep. She would wake up slightly and look up at me as if to acknowledge, “yep, he’s still got me – safe, protected, taken care of.”

How true this whole picture is of our relationship with God:
● We spend so much of our lives developing our independence.
● We spend most of our “time with God” in a one-way conversation.
● We seek God’s answers to our questions instead of just seeking God.
● We want God’s affirmation of our words, actions, and thoughts instead of affirming Him with our words, actions, and thoughts.
● We so seldom take the time to just rest in the comfort of His love and the assurance of our salvation.
Obviously, any analogy that we can come up with relating to God breaks down on some level because He is so “other.” In relation to our human condition, we cannot even fathom His holiness, His power, His majesty, His glory, . . . Him.
We know He cares about our hurts. We know He wants us to bring our needs and concerns to Him. We know that He cares about every aspect of our lives and wants us to share it all with Him.
But I think He also longs for us to just rest and relax in His arms; to let go and acknowledge that He is in control and all will be just fine; to stop squirming, worrying, and fretting about the world beyond the comfort of His arms.
And I think He wants that for more than just ten seconds a day.
He may remove us from difficult circumstances; He may deliver us from pain. But so long as we are in this fallen world, He certainly desires that we . . .
“Be still and know . . .”

I hope you enjoy the lyrics of Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, Be Still and Know:
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is holy
Be still, O restless soul of mine
Bow before the Prince of peace
Let the noise and clamor cease
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that He has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that He will never change
Be still
Be still; Be speechless
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know He is our Father
Come rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of
His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still

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