The house is quiet. Very quiet. The overcast sky and gently falling rain make it almost eerily so.
Two days ago sweet Mo Mo’s 4th birthday party filled the house, the yard and the neighborhood with the giggles and screams of 6 little girls having the time of their life frolicking in the water. Even the cows stayed out of sight recognizing they couldn’t compete with that kind of excitement.
Yesterday the house yielded the sounds of old friends laughing around the dinner table sharing stories of the past and wondering about the future. Today that dear friend began the long nine hour drive home with a dog and antique table in tow. Hubby is in the shop finishing up a construction project. So today it is quiet. Very quiet.
The past 6 weeks have been a blur of activity and noise.
- the birth of a new grandson yielding the sweet cries of a newborn babe offering up the hope of a wonderful future
- the two week hospitalization of his oldest sister with the sounds of breathing treatments, IV drips, non-stop Disney Channel, the reassuring words of her nurse, and the whisper of a little one that misses her Mama
- the rumble and thunder of a l – o – n – g overdue rain.
- the scream of the power saw and roar of the air compressor as we install new flooring in the two upstairs bathrooms
- the clanging of pots and pans as I prepare a meal for a precious family that is facing a huge challenge
- the tap, tap, tap of the pen as I think, think, think, about the details of Mo Mo’s birthday party
- and the suppressed snubs and quiet tears as we learn of the deteriorated health condition of a dear friend.
These past six weeks are a blur of activity seemingly interrupted only by the sacred pause of fellowship with our church family each Sunday. It was on Sundays that we seemed able to catch a breath, get our bearings, pause and reflect on the past week and strengthen ourselves for the week ahead. Perhaps that is why these past two Sundays seemed especially poignant. Brother Jeff’s words focused on one particular theme these two weeks, “Be still . . .”
In a culture that values activity, productivity, measurability and accountability – there’s not much value on the act of ‘being still.’ Those that are ‘still’ for too long are chided as lazy, sluggards, bums and on and on. The key is not in sitting idly but using that still time to communicate with God. Devotional time is not merely issuing our laundry list of petitions and requests then going on our merry way. We are to sit and listen to Him, then . . follow His lead. Take His action and sometimes that may be very different from what we had in mind. But His thoughts are always better.
How often do we rush through our quiet time or devotional time out of habit or because there is something else waiting to be done? How easily are we distracted from “being still” by what is waiting for us or the remembrance of what has just happened to us?
Be still, and know that I am God;
Clearly, the message is, I am God – not you. When we recognize and fully accept that God indeed is sovereign, that He is in control – not me, not you – the rightful relationship can begin to follow. It opens up unlimited possibilities. In order to enter that relationship; we must first, “be still.” God certainly knew we needed a sabbath day, and sabbath time within each day in order to be still with Him. That rest and quietness is essential for the rejuvenation and revival of our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is essential for our relationship with God. And as we practice that stillness and become more and more familiar with His voice, that stillness begins to stay with us throughout the day. Regardless of what is happening around us, that stillness is within us.
Even though these past weeks are a blur and I sometimes wonder how we managed it; it is “being still” that clearly sustained us. That is the “abundant life” God promises; not necessarily a life of wealth, riches and prosperity, but the abundance of peace, perseverance and power to live fully as the day requires.
In His eternal Grace,
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10