“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.” Psalm 46:10
I stepped out of the cottage door onto the wooden deck and felt the freshness of the morning on my face. The air was cool with a slight dampness to it. I breathed in deep. Slowly I walked down the path made with medium sized rocks and surrounded by leafy greenness. No sound greeted me but the rustling from the treetops and the haunting call of a loon. Waiting for me was the dock which bobbed and swayed as I stepped on to it. There before my eyes was a lake as smooth as glass that was perfectly reflecting the cottages on it’s shores. The quiet wrapped around my mind like a sigh.
I had come down to the water because I had something on my mind and heart; a decision that needed to be made. I had prayed about it for a couple of days. There were only three of us at the cottage but in that moment it felt like too many. As I stood at the edge of the dock, I closed my eyes and whispered my question and asked what He wanted me to do. When I opened my eyes again and gazed at His amazing handiwork, I was overcome with His glory and all I could do was sing His praises with moist eyes. When I was done, I had my answer.
Scripture tells us we need to wait on the Lord.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1 NIV
It tells us to be still as Psalm 47 says above.
Finding a place and time to be still and quiet is a challenge for most of us. Life is busy and noisy and full of distractions. But God repeatedly instructs us to do so, any way we can.
It will look different for everyone. Maybe it requires locking yourself in the bathroom or hiding in a spacious closet for 10 minutes to get away from the kids. Perhaps going for a short walk or to a park bench on your lunch. For morning people it might be getting up 15 minutes earlier and for night people, taking some time before you shut your eyes to be still with God. Of course the more time you put in to it the better. It could be short frequent times or if you can, 30 minutes to an hour. Whatever works for you to find those moments to be still and listen to what God is saying to your heart. To hear that still small voice.
I hate waiting! It seems like such a waste of time. After all I have things to do, people to see, books to read, places to go and games to play. I want things to go my way and in my time! But God…..
Our God sees the bigger picture. I mean my 80 – 90 years (God willing) of life in the whole timeline of history and eternity is a small blip. Regardless, God cares about that blip and as His child, He wants what is best for me. Sometimes that requires me waiting on His timing.
“Our hearts are like a sensitve photographer’s plate; and in order to have God revealed there, we must sit at His feet a long time. The troubled surface of a lake will not reflect an object.” F.W Faber
The wait may be short or it may take years. It may be a lighter time of waiting or excruciatingly heavy. It is often filled with anxiety, frustration and impatience; at least on my part!
But God’s timimg is always the perfect time because He knows what I need to go through to grow in my faith and how best to protect me.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 NIV
This is where being still and resting in Christ’s love and grace is so important. I need to be still and know that the Lord is in control; He’s got my back! Being still helps me to hear Him and to remember all He has done for me in the past; to remember His promises in His Word.
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5 NIV
Stillness and waiting; two very counter-cultural ideas but as followers of Jesus, this is our culture, what He asks us to do. This is where we learn to lean on Him and recharge our souls for the journey.
It isn’t easy though and takes practice as well. If you’re new to it, start with 5 minutes and just try clearing your mind of everything but God and His word. For me it helps to have a scripture verse that I recite over and over, like, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8b NIV. Sometimes, I just try focusing on the different sounds around me and waiting to hear that still small voice. Other times I play worship and praise music and soak in the beauty of His creations. Everyone has different techniques that work best for them; the thing is to start and find what works best for you. Don’t try and make anything happen or tell God what you want or think about what you should be doing. Just breathe, relax and dwell on your Lord and Saviour. After all He is ALL!
Friends, I will be praying that you find time to be still and wait on God. I pray that your efforts will be a blessing because I know they will be a pleasing aroma to our Lord!