“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NIV
Being still seems like it should be such an easy thing to do but have you ever had to be perfectly still for any amount of time and all of a sudden you get an itch? You try to ignore it but the more you try, the stronger the itch gets. Just when you think you can’t take it anymore you’re finally free to move. Sometimes, it’s like that when God tells us to be still. All of a sudden we get an itch or an urge to do something. The itch could be caused by rumors of possible layoffs, a bad prognosis from the doctor or a troubled relationship. The fear, anxiety and sheer unpleasantness of the situation feels so unbearable we feel like we have to take matters into our own hands and do something but we hear God telling us to be still and know that He is God.
Being still is definitely not for the faint of heart. It requires completely putting your trust in someone we’ve never seen. His power is so miraculous and mysterious that it’s sometimes hard to wrap our heads around the fact that He is, He can and He will. How can we be sure that a power so great truly cares for us? We know because He sacrificed His only Son for us. He not just cares for us, He loves us completely. We are His children and He takes pleasure in taking care of us. If we can just be still in His love we can see mountains move, the dead rise and chains of despair broken.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37: 7 NIV
Have patience while the Master is at work. Masterpieces take time and you are one of God’s masterpieces. Don’t fall into the trap of frustration during the process. Stay in expectancy for the beauty that God is about to reveal in your life.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
All things are in God’s timing. Even if something looks dead, it’s not finished until God says so. Ignore the voices that say, “it’s over…just give up…it’s hopeless.” These are all lies of the enemy to keep you from doing what God has called you to do. Listen to the promises of God. If He said it, it’s as good as done, just as long as you stay the course and don’t give up.
“The Lord works everything to it’s proper end.” Proverbs 16:4 NIV
I was promised a land flowing with milk and honey, if I would just follow Him. He said that I would be a fisher of men. I said yes and followed, never expecting to end up wandering the wilderness for forty years. So maybe it hasn’t been forty years but I thought this was just going to be an eleven day journey. No one told me I would have to lose friends and endure suffering. How many times do I have to go around this same mountain, listening to these same people complaining about the same things. I’m tired of sacrificing and I’m tired of seeing people I love die. I just want to rest in my Promised Land.
It’s not even possible for me to turn around at this point. I’ve seen too many miracles to stop believing. But oh, am I tired of walking on water one minute and sinking the next. Seriously, isn’t that the same mountain I saw last week?
I would absolutely love to tell you that I’m ready to step into my blessings but the truth is, I’m not. I haven’t learned to be thankful and have joy in every circumstance, that’s why I keep complaining about everything. I haven’t been able to fully let go of my past because I keep longing for the good ole days, which really weren’t all that great. I haven’t learned to completely trust God because when He tells me to do something crazy, I still worry about what people will think.
God knows the skills and training I’ll need once I receive His promises. He knows the giants that I’ll have to face and He knows if I had to face them now, I would run away. My faith muscles simply aren’t strong enough right now. So, I’ll continue to persevere and go around this same mountain, yet again and I’ll pray that this time, I can finally cross over into my blessings.
“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘if they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.'” Exodus 13:17 NIV
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep with the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called–one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4: 1-6 NIV
It’s not my place to judge you or to look down on you. It’s not my place to manipulate you or control you. It’s not my place to harass you and make your life difficult. It’s not my place to turn my back on you when you’re in need and withhold my help. It’s not my place to tear you down or enjoy seeing you fall.
It is, however, my place to show you compassion. It’s my place to find out what I can do to help you and not how you can help me. It’s my place to let you go to allow you to learn things on your own and to let you discover your own path. It’s my place to let you see the light that God has placed inside of me. It’s my place to encourage you and to offer my hand to help lift you up. It’s my place to pray for you. It’s my place to love you.
Do you know your place? Now, before you answer that question, truly think about it. Do you really know your place and are you there? Do you realize what an honor and blessing it is that God has chosen you; that he has called you to be a representation of himself? Do you know how much it breaks His heart when you don’t stay in your place? When we hurt each other, our brothers and sisters, it hurts our Father too. I ask you again, do you know your place?
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: love each other.” John 15: 16-17 NIV
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive them their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14 NIV
When you thought no one was watching, my daddy saw everything. He saw you break my heart. He saw you abuse me. He saw when you plotted and schemed against me. He saw you stab me in the back. He heard you lie to me and about me. He heard you say that I was ugly and that no one would ever love me. He saw you try to break my spirit. He saw you laugh when I fell. He heard every curse you spoke over my life. He saw you use me. He saw you cast me aside. He heard how you talked to me like I was something stuck on the bottom of your shoe. He heard you call me every foul name you could think of.
I wanted you to pay. I wanted revenge. I couldn’t wait until you felt the wrath of my daddy. When he didn’t seem to move fast enough, I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw things. I wanted to punch and kick. Then I realize that not only was my daddy watching you, he was watching me too. He was watching to see if I would be obedient and follow his teachings. He wanted to see if I would forgive you, if I would pray for you and if I would love you. For a brief moment I forgot these things. I forgot who my daddy is.
I don’t know why you chose to hurt me. Maybe it’s because you were hurt. Maybe you’ve never experienced true love. Maybe you’ve never seen a true representation of my daddy. I would love for you to meet him. Let me tell you who my daddy is. He goes by many names, God, Yahweh, Jehovah. He is the alpha and omega. He is almighty and he is love. He forgives and shows mercy. He lifts up those who have fallen down. He heals broken hearts. Even though we fall, he still loves us unconditionally. His purpose is never to hurt but to encourage and strengthen. I was created in his image therefore, I will forgive you. I will continue to pray for you and I will never stop loving you.
“I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:44 NIV
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37: 7 NIV
I want my blessings now. I don’t want to be patient. I don’t want to be still. I want to fulfill my destiny. I don’t want the blood, sweat and tears. I want my success now but I don’t want to lose friends in the process. I want everyone to like me.
I want to fall in love but I don’t want to experience the heartbreak. I want to put all my worries in the Lord’s hands but I don’t want to relinquish my control. If I don’t complain, what will I have to talk to my friends about?
I want to receive healing but I still want people to be concerned about me. I don’t want to be a victim but I don’t want to say no. I don’t want to confront painful memories. I want my situation to change but I don’t want to do the hard work involved in fixing it.
I want to do what is right but I want what is right to be easy. I want to be a blessing to others but I don’t want to get my hands dirty. I don’t want to have to associate with people who aren’t like me.
I want help but I don’t want to ask for it. I don’t want people to know that I can’t do it all on my own. I don’t want anyone to see me cry. I don’t want them to know I still need a hug even though I have a smile on my face and pep in my step.
My flesh and my spirit are walking contradictions. I want it all. I want my cake and eat it too, and if I can get away with it, I want ice cream on the side. I can’t have it all at once though. Sometimes, I have to wait to eat my cake. I have to eat my vegetables before I can enjoy dessert. I have to allow time for my dinner to digest.
When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, that meant I surrendered everything to him. My life, my heart, my soul and my body are His. I admitted that He knows what is best for my life and I agreed to trust Him to lead me to where I need to go. I decided to serve Him despite what my flesh wants. I have to pick up my cross if I want to walk with Christ. I can live with that, because eventually my Heavenly Father will reward me with cake and I will be able to eat it too, even if I have an occasional temper tantrum while I wait.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 NIV