I struggle with being still. Even in the moments that I do “nothing,” my mind will race with all the things I need to be doing, deadlines I need to meet or things I need to plan. I’ll find myself scrolling Pinterest to plan the next meal, texting a friend to catch up, or over-thinking every possible outcome to a situation I’m facing, all while I’m supposed to be resting. In a culture where there are things to occupy our time right at our fingertips (and a baby that likes to have a ninja party every time I sit down), there isn’t a lot of silence or stillness in my life right now. I’d be willing to bet many of us feel this same struggle every day.
Many times, over the last couple of months, I’ve been reminded to find and cherish my moments of stillness before there’s a newborn that needs my attention. The moments of silence will be less and less. I’ll be torn in more directions, and managing time, relationships and work will be anything but peaceful for a while. I’m challenged by this, I have intentions to follow the advice, yet I still find myself in a cycle of forgetting to stop and be still.
Apart from the busyness of life, I’m learning there’s a spiritual stillness that suffers from my inability to turn things off. After Aaron’s sermon this week, I was convicted that my prayer life has not been what it should be because it’s always interrupted with a thought that draws my attention away from the Lord quicker than I can stop it. We even have Bible apps on our phones, so am I completely still before the Lord when I have good intentions to read the Word and spend time with Him? No, because a notification comes through that draws me away, even if it’s for a split second. I think we often settle for “kind of quiet” because there is noise all around us, but I fully know in my heart that God has called us to more.
God calls us to “be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).” “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:37).” He tells Job, “Stop and consider the wondrous works of God (Job 37:14).” These aren’t suggestions, they’re commands. God’s desire is to be with us in the quiet, where His voice is heard because we’ve surrendered completely to finding intimacy with Him. God’s desire is to quiet our anxiety, quiet our need to control, quiet our plans and spend time with His children to mold our hearts to His. God’s desire is for us to pray, of course, but also to listen.
I’m challenging myself, and you, to find time this week to be completely still. Put away the phone, use a real Bible, journal, find a space with minimal distractions. Be still and think on the works of God in your life. Be still and listen for His voice. Be still and put aside the things that tear us in all different directions and rob our souls of intimacy with our Father. We may think there are more important things to do than sit in potential awkward silence, but the Lord has commanded us to still our hearts and minds to rest in His presence.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5