Isn't it funny how when things are going well, it seems to get easy to try and go it on your own? I often find that when things are going relatively smoothly in my life, that is when I really have to be careful. It is easy to become complacent and forget where your blessings are coming from. I am so thankful things are going pretty well for us right now, but I am really trying to take my relationship with God even deeper, I don't want to waste all he has given us and I want to be sure I become all He wants me to be. For the next few days or weeks or however long it takes I am going to go back through my journey via this blog and when I re-read the posts that remind me of where I came from and what God is teaching me, I am going to repost them. Here is one from two years ago, while I was pregnant with Asher.
Each morning I try to sit down and read a daily devotion from the book "Streams in the Desert". My mother in law gave us the book when Isaac died and it is perfect for me. Often times I don't have a whole lot of time in the morning where I can read a book without pictures. This book has a bible verse and then accompanying wisdom for the day. I have found that it is always amazing how perfect each day's words for me are and though I have read the entire thing as this is actually the third year I have used it, they always hit me differently.
Well, I had lost the book a week or so ago in the craziness of our home and hadn't read it for about a week. We have a couple of other devotionals I had been using but I missed my old favorite. So this morning I was determined to search the chaos of this house in all of those piles of things that we move when we see someone pull in the driveway. At least I do. I found the book in my bedroom which is always the worst room in the house but I sat down to catch up. I was very interested in what wisdom the book had for us the day of our appointment January 15th. God never ceases to amaze me.
I have shared that whenever I pray or search God for answers all I EVER get is "Be still" that's it, oh sure maybe sometimes a full "Be still, and know" or even on occasion "Be still, and know that I am God." When I open the Bible that is where the book opens, Psalm 46. Apparently I have not been quite getting it. So patiently God continues to remind me of what I need to DO. You see, by nature I am a doer. Anyone who knows me probably knows that. When things get tough I want to know what I can DO to improve the situation. If a friend is suffering it makes me feel better to DO something for them, whether make a meal, visit, or send a thoughtful card. I don't do well with being still. In fact I am horrible at it. I am a multi-tasker. After all I am the mom to two small children. I cannot be still long enough to use the bathroom on my own! I AM trying to be still but apparently God is still not content with my efforts. I continually ask Him to show himself to me and all I get is..."Be still."
So this morning as I read the passage from Streams in the Desert, It began with this verse, "That night the Lord appeared to Isaac." Genesis 26:24. Great, I thought, for Isaac. Where was God now. It has taken me a long time to get a grasp on the idea that our God is a living God. He is here just the same as he was in the time of Isaac. I think often we think of God and all of the things he did for all of the people in the Bible and we get so caught up in those things that we forget that he is the same yesterday, today and forever! God is just as much with us as he was with Adam or Abraham.
Well, God came to Isaac the same night Isaac went to Beersheba. That was the night that Isaac reached rest. Isaac had been yearning for God to reveal himself and yet Isaac's mind was too troubled to be able to receive what God had to offer. my devotion read this..."God's voice demands the silence of the soul. Only in the quiet of the spirit could Isaac hear the garments of his God brush by him. His still night became his shining night."
Following those words was the verse from Psalm 46 "Be still, and know" Imagine that! It then went on to say "In the hour of distress, you cannot hear the answer to your prayers. How often has the answer seemed to come much later! The heart heard no reply during the moment of its crying, its thunder, its earthquake, and its fire. But once the crying stopped, once the stillness came, once your hand refrained from knocking on the iron gate, and once concern for other lives broke through the tragedy of your own life, the long awaited reply appeared."
So, I think I have been going about it all wrong...I mean as a mom of a busy four year old and an even busier one year old I seldom have the time to be still. As I sit and type this our home is anything but still. It is quiet time in our house right now so everyone is in his bed resting but quiet they are not. The verse "Be still, and know." it seems has less to do with physically being still and more to do with quieting your heart. I so often tell Howard how much I long to rest, and by this I mean I physically want to lie down and rest, but more importantly I should be taking time to allow my heart to rest. There is more to it than just being still and trying to listen. God is not going to reveal himself fully until I surrender it all fully. I must clear out the doubts and the fears, I must cast out the anger and confusion. It is not something that can be done in a day. I must continue to pray without ceasing and know that there will be days that this task will be much more difficult than others.
The hardest thing about all of this is just living one day at a time. And that is all we can do. None of us really know what tomorrow brings, but we do have today. And certainly today brings sufficient worry for itself. It is when we try to tackle the worries of tomorrow that things become insurmountable. Happy is teaching me so much already about what is truly important. I just need to breathe and take it one moment at a time and for me to be able to experience whatever it is that God is trying to tell me I must be still, I must clear out the junk and find a place where the waters are still and it is there and only there where God will answer. We become so accustomed to background noise that even in our house there is always a TV or radio on. Apparently God is not willing to compete with background noise, and he shouldn't have to. So for today I am praying that I find a way to TRULY Be still and know!