I have had this post on my heart for over four months. The thoughts and words have stirred in my mind, but something has stopped me every time. Today was different. I got a new book in the mail and when I turned to today’s devotional, there it was…
“THANK GOD for the conditions that are requiring you to be still.”
What does it mean to “be still?” If you’re anything like me, just hearing those words is enough to make you squirm. Being still isn’t in my nature. I’m a do-er, not a sitter.
By definition, stillness is “a deep silence and calm; to make or become still, quieten.”
Sometimes we’re caught in the quiet whether we like it or not. You might be waiting for an answer or hoping for change that hasn’t happened. The seeming silence becomes deafening—you’re wriggling to escape.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” In this verse, God is defending his people. In Hebrew being still means to stop striving, let go, surrender. The chapter begins and ends with God is our refuge, an ever-present help in our trouble. He is Immanuel, God with us.
The first time I truly recognized God’s voice, He told me to “Be Still.” In my heart I was praying and hoping to be home more. It consumed me. Every day I scribbled our monthly budget on scraps of paper trying to make it work, trying to come up with something, anything, to get what my heart desired.
That night I was with a friend talking circles around the situation, trying to figure out what to do… she stopped me in my tracks. Instead of talking about it, let’s pray about it and listen to God.
She began praying and then paused, “What is God saying to you?” No one had ever asked me that question before. I really wasn’t sure I had ever heard God. I looked around at the floor, staring at my feet, thinking about everything I needed to do that week. It seemed like the longest silence. As we finished and I started to look up, I felt like a failure. I still didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t heard from God.
But then as we locked eyes I heard it… “Be Still.”
It brought me to tears. I couldn’t help but think about the Israelites with Egyptians on their heels. They had waited so long for freedom, and had finally tasted it, when their enemy came chasing after them again threatening to take it all away. In Exodus 14:13, Moses says, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.”
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
The Israelites were delivered from their enemy that day as God parted the sea. And that night I found freedom in being still. I did finally receive the answer to the prayer I had been praying fervently about for years, but I needed to stop doing, for once, and start seeking. Instead of seeking God’s hand, the wait forced me to seek his face. I had to stand firm in faith, knowing God was working all for Good. He had plans immeasurably greater than I could have imagined.
If you’re still waiting for your miracle, stop striving, let go, surrender, and BE STILL.
The Lord is fighting for you, making a way in the wilderness, but His way is not our way. Even if my prayer hadn’t been answered, I had to KNOW that God is GOD and is still good no matter what.
Today’s devotional in my new book finished by urging, “Do not to spoil the quiet by wishing it away.” Some of God’s greatest works came in waiting. Let your quietness and trust enhance your awareness of his presence and bring you closer than ever before. Intimacy increases in the silence; you just have to be still long enough to receive it.
In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15
Heather Shipley is a Christian, wife and mother – striving daily to keep priorities exactly in that order. A marketing professional by day with a passion for blogging, sharing hope in God’s word, and encouraging other women to find freedom to live the abundant life God intended. As it commands in 1 Peter 4:10, each of us has a gift that should be used to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace. For Heather, founding Craving God Ministries was just that – a way to use her creative abilities to provide an outlet for other women to share and hear God’s word. A firm believer that God wants us to express our triumphs and hardships to connect with others and glorify His name. Life’s messy. Share your struggles, because you can either encourage someone who’s going through a similar situation, or you might just find someone who’s been there, done that, and can provide Godly wisdom to help you overcome!