Does it ever feel like the Lord is trying to get your attention, because the same scripture or theme keeps popping up everywhere? For me, it was this. Be still.
For weeks, it was everywhere I turned.
It kept coming up in devotions I was reading. At Hobby Lobby (which I love and where I can spend a ridiculous amount of money) there it was in hand-scripted letters on canvas—even stitched on a pillow! Then someone gave me a coffee mug and guess what was on the front? Be still and know that I am God.
Okay! Point taken. Message received. I needed to be still. But about what? Honestly, I thought I already was. I was spending time in the Word. I was praying—more consistently, in fact, than in previous seasons of my walk with the Lord. Why this persistent nudge to be still?
Then, on a Monday in May I found out why. Contrary to my usual aversion to small group studies, I joined a mentoring group at my church. I found myself, along with six other unmarried women, in a study called Becoming the Bride to Be. We introduced ourselves and I discovered that for a change, I was not the oldest unmarried girl in the group. (At nearly thirty-five, that is often the case in most areas of my life.) After belting out a chorus of Hallelujah (silently to myself) I read one of the first questions in our study guide.
“Do you trust that the Lord will fulfill your desire to be married and has a godly husband set apart for you? And will you commit now to praying daily for him and for yourself?”
I had to stop and read that a few times. Do I think the Lord can fulfill my desire to be married? Sure. But the question asked if I trust He will. “Yes, of course,” I wanted to say, and move on. But something about that call to action, to consistently pray for my future husband, pricked my spirit.
You see, over the years, I’ve watched one girlfriend after another walk down the aisle, and something has become very apparent…I’m in a shrinking minority! Intellectually, I know that God—in His infinite wisdom and power—can, at any time, arrange that meet-cute with my future husband. But if I’m honest, in my heart I was beginning to believe that the chances were slim to none. I stopped trusting the Lord and instead, I was doing damage control to prepare myself for what I saw as the inevitable. My motto: “Don’t get your hopes too high and your heart won’t get broke.” So praying daily for a husband I wasn’t sure existed sounded like a recipe for disaster.
Looking back now, I see how silly my logic was. Why would I ever fear trusting the Lord with my heart, which is so precious to Him?
Right then, I decided instead of trying to control it, I’d entrust the outcome to God and I would practice actively being still before the Lord. Sounds like a contradiction, I know.
Being still is not the same as doing nothing.
It takes concentrated effort to give up control. (Can I get an amen?) To trust that, even when it doesn’t look like it, God has a plan. For me, this means being open to a future even when I wonder if it will happen. Trusting His plan for me now (in the waiting) as I find my contentment and wholeness in Him.
You know what comes out of being still before the Lord? Peace. Maybe not overnight. But in seeking to live a life that pleases Him, right now, here, today. One day you turn around and realize that His peace has worked its way into your heart.
What are you waiting for? What situation are you experiencing that has you thinking it cannot possibly turn out well? Stop. Be still. It just may be the most liberating move you ever make.