For the next few posts I will focus on practical ways we can live out Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God. As passive as this Biblical instruction may appear, it is actually active and intentional; in other words, none of us will naturally drift towards a life of stillness and silence in God’s presence.
This is a journal entry from earlier this month…
I begin this day with some intentionally quiet moments on the living room couch. Jack is up extra early, even for a school day, and has made his way over to me.
Jack doesn’t just sit on the couch… He nestles in very closely, wedging his cold feet under my legs, sliding his shoulder behind my arm. We have a big couch. But even after Jack has joined me, there is still just as much available room on the couch as there was prior to his arrival.
In the form of a guided prayer, the following verse is highlighted: Be still and know that I am God.
I reflect on the many reasons I may choose to be still in a given day:
*To watch a movie or read a book
*To avoid distracting coworkers in a meeting
*To wait for the light to turn green
But to be still for the purpose of knowing God is a different, holy stillness.
Lord God, I feel Jack wedged closely beside me even though the couch affords us both a lot more usable real estate. When I choose to be still for the purpose of knowing you, it is a conscious choice on my part to sit very closely beside you. Today has a lot of real estate, so to speak, begging for me to occupy it; I intentionally decline stretching out and propping up my feet over “there” in order to sit here, still, beside you.
(After a few minutes of silence paired with Breath Prayers…)
God, I love it here. I don’t want to move, unless you, as the pillar of cloud by day, are on the move. Then I will follow in order to be still, beside you on a new couch, in a new space.
A bit later that morning I was reading and reflecting on Mark 7:31-37. Verse 33 stood out the most to me, but it may be different for you as you pause to read it. In this verse, Jesus healed a man, but not until after he first “took him aside from the crowd privately.”
This region near the Sea of Galilee is pretty spacious. Think of it like an extremely large couch. There was a lot of available real estate…but this deaf man and Jesus met together, wedged closely in a private corner.
Sometimes healing takes place away from the crowds, in stillness.
I encourage you to find a large couch – literally – and wedge yourself tightly into a corner. Leave plenty of extra room as a symbol of your desire to wedge in closely with Jesus. Find Mark 7:31-37 and see what the Spirit highlights as you read it. There are several reasons to be still; make stillness for the purpose of knowing God your main reason for sitting on the couch.
I’m about to do this. Except my search for stillness involves a bike ride and a lake.
I am at a place you know,Gary, an island beach where I feel most unfettered by daily tasks, most tuned in to our gracious God in a very still way. Today I lay on the couch, and two 9-week Vizla puppies fresh from a romp on the beach found spots wedged next to me to also be still. One chose to lay her head literally under my chin, close to the beating of my heart and the rhythm of my breathing. Have I ever felt more content? Is this a tiny picture of something the Lord may feel when I snuggle up very close and still? I KNOW it pleases me to be still with Him. What a thought, that it can please Him too. I want my life to be oriented to His heartbeat.
I remember when I was at youth pastor summit a couple of years ago and Francis Chan brought his 6 year old daughter out to meet the crowd of over 2000 youth pastors. Needless to say she wasn’t looking at the crowd and she had a vise-like grip on his daddy’s neck because she was scared. Anyway, Francis continued to talk about his girl and their relationship and then his said, as his daughter was clinging to his neck, “does your relationship with Jesus look like this?” You could have heard a pin drop. There it was. Needing Jesus so much that you were not going to let go…..I need to get close to him and never let go…..