Gone Coastal

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Be Still

It was late January, I think. Sleeping through the night still meant I got a few end of day tasks done after putting T to bed and got more than my full four-hour cycle of sleep before getting up for a feed and putting her back to sleep and deciding whether a shower or more sleep was more important to me that day. I'd developed a habit of using those minutes feeding her when no-one else was around or awake to pray. Praying for missionary friends, concerns and issues I knew about, people I'd lost touch with, our new family. It was always a bonus when I found myself done whatever must do task I'd assigned myself for the current 'window' and was expecting the next call to duty sooner than would be useful for 'real work'.
I'd sit in the chair in the nursery and rattle off the list of prayer items, dwelling on persons or topics as I felt led. In the days after it happened, I knew I'd have to post about it, and I remembered all the details of the moment in my mind, but had no idea how to put it out there. Now the details are much fuzzier. I think I was particularly harried that day, as I was rattling far more than I dwelled. I think, in fact, I was more than a little overwhelmed with the chaos around me, the demands of motherhood, the tension between my roles as mother and wife. I took one of those bonus moments where there was a physical break in the day, and came before God in prayer. My thoughts tumbled forward in my mind. As I paused for just a second to catch my mental breath, two words came back.
Be still.
Be still, yes. I have to take advantage of these times to come before you Lord, to present my concerns, to lift up others in prayer.
Be still.
Yes. I must leave the laundry for now and the dogs will have to get walked in the afternoon because T will be up any minute. Should I go start a bottle warming while I wait?
Be still.
Yes, okay, leave the bottle. Yes, Lord. I know that you are God. That verse was in a song I knew as a young Christian. You are God and you're in control. Thank you. I know I couldn't do this without you.
Be still.
Yes. Set everything aside and talk to you.
Be still.


For just a few moments, just long enough for it to sink in, I managed to just be still. In the next window I looked up the passaged I'd remembered, but soon forgot it again. The words echoed around me through the next week, and I took time again to search for the phrase in the word.
The passage that was familiar, the one I expected, the one I knew from songs, "Be still, and know that I am God,"came from Psalm 46:10. The psalm speaks of the Lord's protection, his power, his sovereignty. I was pretty comfortable with God being big enough for the challenges that come (not that I don't often need reminding in the storm).
There was also a reference in Nehemiah that didn't seem to apply, and references to stilling the storm. But then there was another psalm, and it stopped me short. "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.." The psalm speaks of trusting the Lord when it appears from our view, that things are not as they should be. It speaks of letting him guide you to do things his way, and wait patiently until he does whatever it is he has planned.
That sounds an awful lot like giving over to him the things I haven't dared to believe for. The hopes that seem too far off to ask for. The works in progress that I can't actually see progressing.

In the months since, I've tried to keep that perspective in mind. I've tried to take time to be still, not just sitting still in my chair, but still in my mind. I thought of it again this weekend as I attended Good Friday and Easter services with a seven month old child. Your focus is not entirely (not even close) on the speakers and events before you. It reminded me that even as we look to connect with a local congregation again, the responsibility to take time to listen for God's direction for me, as often as I can, is mine alone.
Here I am. I'm listening.



Post a Comment

<< Home