“I cannot be the man I should be without times of quietness. Stillness is an essential part of growing deeper.”
Charles R. Swindoll
The other day I told God, “I’ve missed You!” It’s not that I haven’t been in the Word or prayer, but due to either busyness or rain, I have not sat still before the Lord on our deck, waiting to hear His voice. My soul is replenished when I take time to be still with God outside, listening to the leaves rustle, birds chirp and the melodic sounds of a wind chime. My favorite place to be is sitting in God’s Presence.
God explained to me the importance of being still with Him. He said it’s not solely for His benefit but for ours as well. It’s His way of taking care of our emotional hearts and nourishing our souls. God heals and refreshes hearts when His children sit still with Him, letting the distractions of the world cease.
It’s easy to unconsciously hide our emotional pain behind busyness. We’re so busy running from one activity to another barely catching our breath, that we are unaware of how our hearts are doing. At times I have to stop and check my emotional pulse and ask myself, How am I really doing? Life can be so demanding and stressful that we keep on going till we physically cannot take another step. When I am still and quiet before God, pain can no longer stay hidden behind activity. My hurt rises to the top of my heart like dross in heated metal, causing the unwanted pain to be removed. This makes me face my pain and deal with it, allowing God to heal my heart. No longer is anything blocking it. In the stillness it’s God and me and nothing else.
Most of my life I have believed the lie, “If it’s not productive, it’s a waste of time.” This misbelief sets me up to always need to be doing instead of being. It places my identity in how much I’ve accomplished rather than who I am. And it makes it very difficult to be still to listen to God. It took me years to understand and eventually enjoy rest.
Rest can be defined as Relinquishing Every Stress To God. It’s His gift to us. Giving up our control to God builds a secure foundation. When we acknowledge God is in control and place our trust in Him, then we can cease striving. It is in that place our security and protection are established. St. Augustine of Hippo says, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in You.”
In Psalm 46:10a, God doesn’t encourage us to be still and know that He is God simply to give us another bullet point to check off our to do lists. God exhorts us to sit still, to become more intimately acquainted with who He is, so that we have what we need for the day. He woos us to be still before Him in order to fill us up to overflowing. This provides quiet waters within our hearts giving refreshment when we come up against the oppressive heat of the day.
Try an experiment with me this week. Take five minutes a day sitting still with the Lord. During this time, don’t plan your day nor reflect on yesterday. Simply be with God. Give Him opportunity to speak to you. Let Him quiet your heart providing you rest and refreshment. Drink deeply of Jesus, the living water within you and let the cares of the world melt away, allowing peace to replace any pain.
“The very best and utmost attainment in this life is to remain still and let God act and speak in thee.”
1. In what area do you need to REST, (Relinquish Every Stress To God)?
2. Check your pulse. How is your emotional heart really doing?
3. How has busyness kept you from feeling your pain?
4. Take the challenge: spend five minutes each day sitting still with the Lord. If you decide to take me up on this dare, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.