Be Still and Look At Me

Psalm 46:10 ~ Be still (cease striving) and know that I am God.
When my children were toddlers and out of control, I would come to them, put their chubby little cheeks in the palm of my hands and say “be still and look in my eyes”. It was then and only then that I could communicate with them. It was as if their little worlds were out of control and they couldn’t remember who was in charge, and their fleshly response was to have a break down.

I smile now as I think of all the times
God has put my cheeks in the palm of His hands and said
“be still and look at Me”.

Sometimes I just need to be reminded that God is God and I am not! (aside: my husband would say amen to this! ) How many times do we get so caught up in the issues of the day and the struggles of life and start heading for a break down. Maybe we don’t fall to the floor kicking and screaming, like our 2 year olds do (or maybe some of us do!), but we all know that feeling of falling apart on the inside.

For me, the comfort comes when I get still enough to remember God is in control. This is why my favorite part of today’s verse is “know that I am God”. Maybe I am the only one, but I confess that sometimes I have to be reminded that:
  • He is God, MY GOD, and He is in total and complete control.
  • He is God, MY GOD, and He has a plan for me that I can’t begin to understand and is so much better than anything I could come up with on my own!
I know this, but just as my toddlers sometimes had to be reminded that Mom was there and still in control, so do we. At least I confess that I do.

I find it interesting that some Bible interpretations say:
"Cease striving and know that I am God".
While ‘be still’ and ‘cease striving’ are similar, they bring different images to my mind. There are times when I just need to be calm and still so I can hear God's leading and then there are times that I am trying so hard to make things 'happen' that I need to be reminded to cease and let God be God.

I looked up the definition of ‘strive’ once and was taken aback to see one definition was ‘to struggle in opposition’. Is that what I do? Yep, I have to confess it is. Sometimes I get so focused on my goal and the work required to get it done that I fall into striving instead of being lead by the hand of God. If my goal is not in line with God’s will, then my striving is struggling in opposition of God.

Now that is enough to make me stop and be still. O.K. Lord, I’m listening now.

Let’s not let the rest of our verse go without notice though. It goes on to tell us why we need to be still, cease striving and let God be God. For His glory! My mind suddenly went to the catechisms we used to teach our children. The first one to be memorized was:

What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever!
When I strive, I strive for my personal glory and miss out on the enjoyment of giving glory to God. When I am too busy to be still, I miss out on the enjoyment of knowing God is God, watching God be God and giving God the glory.

What about you? Are there areas in your life where you are striving; struggling in opposition of God’s plan for you? Or, are you so busy keeping up with life and the expectations of the world that you can’t be still long enough to see God?

Try this exercise to help you find that calm place in your heart. Close your eyes and take a moment to release all that is burdening your heart today; concerns, worries, thoughts, distractions. Visualize a large empty basket and place each one of those things in that basket. Is it heavy to carry? Is it cumbersome? Visualize yourself approaching His throne and now laying that basket at His feet. In your mind now, look up… and see that He is smiling. He is willing, able and desiring to make your burden light. Offer up to Him a smile of praise and thanksgiving. Actually smile right now…it’s just you and the Lord. If you want to lift your head and smile, do as you feel led. Just be still now, cease striving and bask in the joy of knowing God is God and He is in control. I’ll share with you a personal challenge I had for the longest time. I would come to the Lord, placing my burdens into that basket and then walk away feeling the freedom of knowing that He is in control; that He is God. But it wouldn’t be long before I would go back to that basket to take things out, one at a time, and put them back into a basket that I carried. It dawned on me that while my heart wanted to give it all to Him and trust that He is God, my head kept saying I needed to take control and handle it. It was as if I was saying to God, “OK…I can take that back now. Thanks for giving me a break and holding it for me while I took a little rest. But I’m ready to take it back and take control of the situation. Thanks for your help, but I’ve got it now”. Ouch! That was a hard self realization to deal with. But how great is God that He already knew that about me and was smiling the entire time, waiting for me to come to the same realization so that He could be there to heal me, restore me and strengthen me. God is good….God is here…God is Great!

Our recipe today is to Just Be Still and Know. The ingredients are from Psalm 46:10. And the directions are to be still, ceasing striving and struggling in opposition to God and know that He is in control. Now enjoy the relationship as He is glorified!

PRAYER:
Oh Lord our God, my Father in heaven who created me, loves me and desires fellowship with me. I come into your presence with a heart ready to praise you. I confess the distractions, worries and concerns I hold tight to and ask that You take my basket so that You may fill it with food that will strengthen me this day. Prepare my heart at this time to be ready to receive this blessing from you. Prepare me to enter into a spirit of sincere, heartfelt, joy filled praise that I might bless you with my words and songs and then be blessed by Your teachings. ….[NOTE: sing this song to Him as a prayer offering ….I love you Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship you, oh my soul rejoice. Take joy my King, in what you hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear. (repeat as needed as you are still; finding joy in His presence) ].Amen

2 comments:

  1. Tami,
    This is just what I needed to hear today! I appreciate your calm strength. Thank you!!
    Terri Steffen

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  2. I had this very conversation with my best friend this weekend...or should I say she has this conversation with me! Then I took out one of my devotion books and read a corresponding message saying sometimes God allows us to be crazy busy and do things He would not have chosen for us to do...just so we can see how unfufilling it feels to try things our own way. The hardest part is yeilding our control and desires to Him, but once we do, it's a far more peaceful and pleasurable journey...even in the midst of a storm.

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