Since God is timeless, it is always a sweet surprise when I discover him working – right on time.
A year ago, I bought a lovely journal to add to my stash. Never enough journals for a writer, you know
This particular journal caught my eye because the cover was a quiet country scene with wildflowers and the verse from Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”
In one version, the imperative is to “Cease striving.” Still another version underscores the words, “Let be and be still.”
But my favorite is the Amplified version of a parallel verse in Psalm 37:7, “Be still and quietly rest in the Lord, wait for him and patiently lean yourself upon him.”
Just before my vacation in the mountains of New Mexico, God pointed me toward this verse. So I started meditating on its meaning.
As I sat beside the clear mountain stream and listened to its melodious splashing over smooth rocks, I practiced being still.
I allowed the sounds and textures of New Mexico to speak to me and bring solace to my over-stressed soul. I didn’t even pray. I just sat there and enjoyed God’s presence highlighted by his creation.
We have lost the ability to rest quietly in our electronically-designed world. During my time in the mountains, I forced myself to rest quietly. This year, I did not take my tablet and since my phone does not carry a data roaming plan – no Facebook posts, tweets or emails reached me.
Not only did I survive, but I also thrived within the solitude and absence of our usual bustling world.
The monastics called it “The Grand Silence.” Every evening they disciplined themselves to cease speaking and curtail activity so they might clearly discern the Divine Whisper.
Saint Benedict, the father of the monastic way wrote, “Therefore, because of the importance of silence, let permission to speak be seldom given to perfect disciples even for good and holy and edifying discourse.”
Wait for him.
As I rested quietly and waited for God to share whatever secrets he wanted, the discipline of patience asserted itself.
God’s timing is, of course, perfect and when we step out of his boundaries – we often find ourselves stressed, burdened and puzzled as our peace is disturbed.
But as we wait, our souls anticipate the time when God WILL speak, WILL instruct us and WILL show us the way that is best for us.
As the Alpha and the Omega, he determines the end from the beginning, then fills in everything in between.
After a week of being still, resting quietly and waiting patiently, God DID show up.
On the last evening of my vacation, I walked past the river and around the man-made lake where other vacationers fished and fed the ducks.
In the movement of walking, I thanked God for the week of quiet time and opened my soul’s heart to hear his response.
The result was several paragraphs of his instructions for me, things I needed to plan for when I returned to civilization, the job and the bills.
I received his words, then hurried back to the cabin to record them. I knew I would need to obey the final phrase of Psalm 37:37 – to patiently lean on God for future plans and next steps.
As I pulled out my journal to write and process God’s promises to me, I glanced once again at the cover.
The country scene with wildflowers in the foreground. A quiet setting, serenely focused on the surrounding land, far from the noise of the city and its fast-paced intensity.
And the verse, engraved boldly on a grey background, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Yes indeed – God showed up – right on time.
©2016 RJ Thesman – Author of the Reverend G books http://amzn.to/1rXlCyh
Hello RJ. As usual your posts help to fill me with calm and anticipation at the same time. I have been thinking about the sovereignty of God. We had our Sunday School lesson on it this past Sunday. For some reason I saw His greatness and power clearer than I ever have before. He is in control! ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Ro. 8:28. It’s hard for me to understand His purpose when my youngest daughter has to go under the knife next week and there was no forewarning. My body being wracked with pain even now and the wanderings of my life currently can’t help me to see His purpose. But He is soverign. He doesn’t explain often, He does, however, give me grace for these storms, those we can see coming and those that suddenly pop up. God bless you and your family. Still praying for Mom, too.
Thank you! And praying as well for your family and these scary issues. Not only is he sovereign but also never abandons us – He has your back !
I just may have to keep a copy of this post. Don’t remember hearing the phrase, “The Grand Silence” before. Although, I’m not nor ever have been monastic, I have definitely practiced silence as I basked in God’s presence. Feel a call to revisit that practice.
So much richness in the spiritual disciplines – as long as we don’t fall back into legalism. Yes, indeed – the silence is Grand!
RJ – Thank you for the reminder to unplug and slow down in order to hear God’s voice. And your trip sounded wonderful! A few weeks ago, I deactivated Facebook. The constant need to stay plugged in with friends, post updates, and like their statuses distracted me from the One Who Truly Knows Me. I hope to spend more time with God and less time with social media…that is a work in progress.
Great boundary-setting, Shanna. I’m so glad you were able to make this choice and spend time with the One who loves you best.