Here I am again… back in your inbox, on your computer, or on your smartphone screen.
Back where everyone else has been so active, so busy, so crazy-productive… while I sat.
Sick. Tired. And a little worried.
I like rest in moderation. On my terms. But when God interrupts my ambitious whirlwinds and just sits me down while all my plans and to-do lists dangle in front of my nose, just out of reach, I’m frustrated.
(Been there? Live there?)
But, in the heavy, foggy stillness of my week, there were a few things that seemed to sink a little deeper into my heart.
Four things that are only a blur when I buzz importantly from one thing to the next on normal days.
1. The circumstances of today have been allowed by our Sovereign God.
Looking for peace in my restlessness, I picked up a devotional book by Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart, and found this:
The wilderness experience leads to the Promised Land. It is the path God chose for us. His Word is established forever, and He tells us in a thousand ways that His will is our peace, His choices for us will lead to fulfillment and joy… Do we suppose that we could find a better way than His?
Wait on the Lord for whatever He appoints, wait quietly, wait trustingly. He holds every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year in His hands. Thank Him in advance for what the future holds, for He is already there. “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup” (Psalm 16:5, NIV).
2. Stillness and affliction take us deeper into God’s heart.
If we don’t experience weakness, we will never know how strong Jesus is. But He is there to uphold us, listen to us, and fill us with His peace, in every single depleted moment. In being still we realize afresh who is truly God.
3. Stillness deepens my empathy and compassion for others who are suffering.
Most of us live lives of busyness and productivity. We manage to stay in the game until a virus or injury hits. But who hasn’t been jolted by the news of a friend or relative whose world is forever changed by a unwelcome medical prognosis? Even a tiny taste of the stillness they’re forced into changes our perspective.
Maybe those brakes have been applied to your life, screeching everything as you knew it to a halt.
This week I’ve thought of you and prayed for you. I was reminded that no matter where I find myself on the scale of difficult circumstances, there is always another who needs compassion, encouragement, and prayers.
4. Stillness reminds us to live well.
If we’re blessed with renewed strength (which I have been, Thank you, Jesus!), we are called to make the most of our days. We’re not called to run ourselves senselessly into the ground; rather, we’re to live wisely. We remember how precious the love of family is, what a gift God’s creation is… And how desperately people need Jesus.
I’m grateful my latest forced “sabbatical” is over. But I’m also grateful for the perspective God gave me.
May He give you grace and peace when He sits you down.
And may you and I serve Him faithfully when He strengthens us to get back up.
*What’s your story of stillness?