Sunday, November 18, 2012

Be Still

"Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is." -Amy Carmichael

I know, I know...what a GREAT quote to put up during the Holidays, right? I read this quote tonight and it made me stop for a minute. It's so true. Yet, we continue to fill our proverbial plates. What is it that drives us to do that? Our culture is definitely an encourager, but why did it become that way?  I don't ask these questions because I have the answers.  I ask them so that we'll entertain what the answers may be.

I find myself drawn to a hurried, pressed lifestyle. It looks fun. It looks productive. It looks good.

But is it really? Is it working for you?

In my experience, business snuffs out the voice of God. It muffles it and at times completely silences it. Then I stand, shocked, and thinking, "Where are you Lord?"

He responds, "Where are you?" And He has every right to do so.

There's something deeper...much deeper. I feel a stronger pull to a peaceful, quiet life. I've always most heard the Lord's voice in stillness. I do not mean during a lack of activity, but in quietness of heart and mind. Although, I must admit it has often been during inactive times. My husband shared a quote from a pastor he heard say...
"The formula for success is the same as the formula for a nervous breakdown."
And I know it's true because I often approach the edge of my sanity. It's easy to be pushed there with four busy little ones, piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and meals to cook.  It's also easy for me to break for 5 minutes.  I used to break all the time for Facebook.  I still break for 5 minutes for Instagram and Pinterest. Well, honestly, it's usually a lot more than 5 minutes.

I have the 5 minutes to break, no matter what I may say to my husband when he asks about the use of my time.  It's hard for me to admit that I don't prioritize my Lord enough, even enough to give Him 5 minutes.  I wish I could say it was easy and that I run to the Father in those precious minutes.

I pray that is who I'm growing to be.

This morning I read Isaiah 30:15. The end of that verse says, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength..." The Hebrew word here for rest means 'quietness.'  The word for quietness in this text means 'to be quiet, undisturbed.'

We find strength in quietness, and not in doing more, but in being still...being quiet. I have experienced this time and time again. If I will quiet my voice, my emotions, my children (by hiding from them...;)), I can hear my Father. Only then do I know which direction to take. Then I remember who I am..God's daughter. The daughter over whom He rejoices. No wonder He commands us to be still and know that HE is God (Psalm 46:19a).

Stillness can give us perspective and offer us peace in the midst of any tantrum, shouts of joy, and/or excitement from a game of toddler tag around the piles of laundry. During morning sickness (why do they call it that again?) and yes, even in the middle of darkness we can receive God's peace. Doesn't that sound nice? It's true. I'll break for that 5 minutes to connect with the Father. I hope you'll do the same, especially through the holidays when it's so easy to fill schedules with tasks.

My prayer for all who read is no nervous breakdowns in this season but clarity of spirit instead.
Make Jesus the priority this holiday season and be willing to be still.

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