Sit—Stay—Rest

Being Still before the Lord

I love Lucy! And no…I’m not referring to the old black and white TV classic. I love our new dog, Lucy! Right after our youngest son, Matt, was married to Katie, they became proud owners of a beautiful golden retriever. When they moved to work in a ministry in Oceanside, California, just a few months later, they could no longer keep their dog. That’s when my husband and I became the new proud owners.

Lucy moved to our house equipped with toys and a supply of food, and it wasn’t long until she began to recognize me as her new master. She learned quickly how to sit, and I was thrilled! But I soon realized that Lucy, though she would sit when she was told, would not stay. She still struggles with this concept. She will sit for a grand total of three seconds before she runs into the backyard or chases our grandson.

Lucy reminds me of our attention in a busy schedule. We often sit for a short time to read a verse or say a quick prayer, and then, like Lucy, we’re off running to a new task. While we feel like perhaps we’ve done our task, we cut short God’s work in our hearts.

The psalmist said in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” When was the last time you were still before the Lord? When was the last time you stayed before God’s throne long enough to know, acknowledge, and trust the reality of His presence in your life?

When I think of being still, I think of three words:

Cease

In order to be still before the Lord, all other activities must cease. We must temporarily set aside the demands of our busy schedules and make time to focus on our Lord. This might require making extra time in the morning or evening. It might mean decreasing the amount of time spent social networking.

A schedule that is too busy to be still may mean that we’ve committed to obligations that aren’t truly important as a Christian, wife, and mother. If that is the case, perhaps we should consider graciously ending those “extra” obligations altogether. Be willing to cease. Be willing to stop doing whatever is keeping you from being still and listening to the voice of God.

Contemplate

When we are still, we are able to spend time meditating on God’s Word. It’s hard to think of God’s goodness or pray about changes in our lives when we are always on the move. Being still allows us to study God’s Word, to think about His attributes and to prayerfully consider the practical changes He is leading us to make.

Psalm 1:2 says, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Are you meditating on God’s Word day and night? Are you staying in His presence long enough to glean helpful truths to get you through your day?

Calm

Finally, being still gives God the opportunities to calm our hearts and restore peace to our lives. Sometimes I feel like my quiet time with the Lord each morning is like the calm before the storm. We never know what a day holds. Even though we plan, we don’t know the level of busyness or the weight of a potential trial on a given day.

When we take time to sit in God’s presence, we benefit from a peace that passes all understanding. In the midst of shopping, chauffeuring, volunteering, babysitting, comforting, teaching, training, disciplining, cooking, loving, cleaning, and working, we can experience the wonderful calmness of heart that only God can give.

Are you sitting in God’s presence? If so, that’s great! But, are you staying there? Are you focusing on Him? Are you patiently anticipating His blessings, meditating on His goodness, and trusting in His plan? If not, carve some time out of your schedule to simply be still and know that He is God. Allow your heart to be strengthened from that special and quality time spent with Him.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
—”Be Still My Soul,” written by Katharina von Schlegel, 1752

May 14, 2011

Terrie Chappell

Ladies Ministry Director, Lancaster Baptist Church

Other Articles by Terrie Chappell

Ladies Ministry
Christian Living, Ladies Ministry, Pastor's Wives, Schedule, Stress

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