May I share a secret with you? I am not very good at "being still." Quite frankly, I stink at it. Let me give you the brief rundown on my life's work as an example...
I rarely sat still in highschool and college. Looking back, knowing what I know now, I have always struggled with anxiety and depression -- it makes sense I kept busy as a way of distracting myself from these unwelcome thoughts and feelings.
As a mom, I headed up two different MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups in two states. MOPS is a Christian outreach to young moms. I taught Sunday School for ten years to 4-5 year olds. I graduated to teaching in Christian schools and a Christian preschool.
I led numerous Bible studies and hosted our church small group. I started a Christian devotional blog ten years ago -- just about the time I started a Christian non-profit that serves children in Pakistan. I've been published three times. I raised two children to adulthood -- trying to instill God's precepts.
I took the the scripture, "Faith without works, is dead," seriously! So seriously I didn't realize I was on the slow burn train heading toward exhaustion.
I was a "human-doing" who had forgotten how to be a "human-being."
Recently, I reitred from my place on the Redeemer Christian Board and am no longer immersed in the day in, day out operations of running a non-profit. Redeemer Christian School is now a ministry under the Youth for Christ Intl. umbrella -- what an awesome ministry!
So now what? Many have told me I need to take time for self care and to develop my creative interests. Since my vocabulary has always focused on verbs like strive, perform, serve, and do, I'm really struggling with the thought of just being still.
After six days of hard work, God needed a day to be still and rest. Jesus went away from the crowds to rest and be still in His Father's presence. If God and Jesus needed to be still -- who am I to think the precription doesn't apply to me?
I love to dig into the Hebrew and Greek meanings of words. When I researched "be still" the verb translated to "cease." In other words, the crux of the command, "Be still" indicates we are to cease whatever it is we are doing (even if it's awesome Kingdom building work) and be still in God's Word and God's presence.
The Bible reminds us several times to "Be still." When God repeats Himself in His holy word it usually means that we are going to need help and reminders to follow these important commands. "Do not be afraid" is repeated 365 times in the Bible -- one, "Do not be afraid," for every day of the year. I think God knows we will be afraid AND we will have trouble being still.
Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10 emphasis mine).
I specifially put the emphasis on "I" because it reminds me that God is God and I am not. Jesus's work on the cross is finished. I need only to repent of my sins and accept this wondrous gift of grace -- that He took my sins with Him on that cross. My salvation's been bought and paid for, and I am free to walk in forgiveness. Nothing, on my part, needs doing.
Even if I sat on my behind and did nothing with my remaining days on earth, my eternity will be with God in heaven. Wow!
All my righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) -- expecially if I think it somehow factors into my salvation. I know this, but still I do stuff!
I have a passion for lost souls -- especially because we are traveling at warp speed on a trajectory headed directly for the end times. The Tribulation gallops ever closer which means we're on the cusp of the Rapture.
So how do I "be still" when all this is going on? Perhaps Kingdom work doesn't always have to look like publishing a book or starting a non-profit. Perhaps the less grandiose act of being still -- so that I can be available to people who are struggling and have questions, may be what I need to aim for? Maybe if I'm not running in circles, I will be more accesible to those who may need encouragment or a listening ear?! Maybe I just need to be still so I can hear God speak!
Being still is God's command, but this is a command which needs to be worked out in MY life and may be for the good of Someone Else's life.
Either way, Being Still is not being lazy -- just the opposite, it is being intentional in my relationship with the Lord and my relationship with others, and is for my own wellbeing.
Thank you for letting me hash this out with you. I'd love to hear your input from personal experience. I'm all ears!
Are YOU in a place where God is whispering, "be still?" How do you balance "works" with "being still?" What do you think it looks like to be still? Will you share?
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Thanks for reading!