Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Searching for Stillness?

In recent weeks, a recurrent theme has surfaced in my time with the Lord. Put simply, it is to "Be Still." A number of blogs I read regularly suggest others too are on a quest for stillness. Seems simple enough, and yet I'm finding it very difficult. It seems even when I remove myself from "busyness," there is still so much going on in my mind, it is rarely still.

I worked in our yard for many hours on Saturday, planting and tending flowers. I had anticipated that to be a time of stillness and listening for the Lord's voice. At the end of the day, while relaxed and truly appreciating the beauty of God's creation, I realized once again I had allowed my head and heart to be distracted by many thoughts, few of which related to stillness. Sometimes, I even wonder if I'm trying to avoid the stillness because I fear that which God might reveal to me or ask of me. Does anyone else feel that way?


I wanted to share with you the Streams in the Desert devotional message I was reading today...(it's from June 20th). I'm praying that with God's help, I can put this into practice in my own life. I'm longing to put aside distractions and embrace God's stillness...


* * * * * *
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when others suggest course of action that are conflicting, when caution dictates one approach but faith another, we should be still. We should quiet each intruding person, calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God’s presence, study His Word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him. We should lift our nature into the pure light radiating from His face, having an eagerness to know only what God our Lord will determine for us. Soon He will reveal by His secret counsel a distinct and unmistakable sense of His direction.

Are you uncertain about which direction you should go? Take your question to God and receive guidance from either the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal. You must get alone with Him, where the lights and the darknesses of this world cannot interfere and where the opinions of others cannot reach you. You must also have the courage to wait in silent expectation, even when everyone around you is insisting on an immediate decision or action. If you will do these things, the will of God will become clear to you. And you will have a deeper concept of who He is, having more insight into his nature and His heart of love.

“Stand still,” my soul, for so your Lord commands:
E’en when your way seems blocked, leave it in His wise hands;
His arm is mighty to divide the wave.
“Stand still,” my soul, “stand still” and you will see
How God can work the “impossible” for thee,
For with a great deliverance He does save.

Be not impatient, but in stillness stand,
Even when surrounded on every hand,
In ways your spirit does not comprehend.
God cannot clear your way till you are still,
That He may work in you His blessed will,
And all your heart and will to Him do bend.

“Be still,” my soul for just when you are still,
Can God reveal Himself to you; until
Through you His love and light and life can freely flow;
In stillness God can work through you and reach
The souls around you. He then through you can teach
His lessons, and His power in weakness show.

“Be still” a deeper step in faith and rest.
“Be still and know” your Father does know best
The way to lead His child to that fair land,
A “summer” land, where quiet waters flow;
Where longing souls are satisfied, and “know
Their God,” and praise for all that He has planned.


8 comments:

Becky said...

So true. Loved this post, Tracy.

Cheryl said...

Tracy,

I read this devotion the other day. I too have felt this request from God to "be still." I know for me I feel I have more to give. In what area, I'm not quite sure.

Notice also in this devotion where it says, "You must also have the courage to wait in silent expectation..."

It is all in His timing. He may be preparing your, my and others hearts for what He desires from each of us.

How is Millie doing? Is her surgery still scheduled for Friday? Do you have a time yet?

Thanks for checking on our final results for Jan. She seemed to be handling things great last night when I went to visit.

Have a blessed "still" day!
Cheryl

Tricia said...

I too am on a quest to "be still"... It truly is the longing of my heart, life just seems to go so much better when I make time to be still before Him and let Him speak to me and fill me up.

Praying you find ample time to be still with Him!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Aaww...stillness. I too have a hard time being completely still. Heck, I have a hard time when I'm saying prayers throughout the day to keep concentrated on what I'm praying.

Time...that's another hard to find. I try to dedicate my mowing to stillness and praying but again, I find myself getting distracted. I did find a solution to that (sort of)...listening to my music during mowing.

You pose a very good question about whether are minds at time avoid stillness out of fear of what God may say. I don't think that is my problem (now but could be). I think my mind naturally is complex, analytical, and always thinking about something.

Actually, I'd find it great success to just find more discipline in certain things.

I recently purchases Streams in the Desert and I love.

Laurie Ann said...

Like you and so many others, I, too, have heard the call to "be still". I learn (and lean) so much more on God when I heed that call. It's hard sometimes, but your post, so eloquently written, provided soem great direction. The devotion you shared was wonderful, too. In this high-tech world we live in the distractions are just so in-your-face that I have finally just had to throw my hand up and say, "Enough!" Politely, of course. Seeking solitude...my soul craves it! Especially after busy days like today.

Angie said...

"Be Still"...oh how He is talking to me...this was needed...and necessary for me to read today.
You are a blessing:)

Cheryl said...

Tracy,

Look at February 21 devotion in Streams in the Desert. There really are a lot of devotions on "be still."

I did see the comment you Melanie's about her MIL. Millie may be having further testing prior to seeing the surgeon. I work in the medical field and its been my experience that this is the normal course they take.

I'll pray for Millie and your family along the same lines I pray for Jan and our family.

Its hard to sit back and wait, especially when you feel like you'r waiting in the dark. I would think also they are giving her medication to help in the interim.

Have a blessed day tomorrow!
Cheryl

Wendi said...

This is wonderful and timely for me today. I'm thankful for your sensitive heart.
Thank you also for your encouragement in the form of sweet comments left on my blog. You have been a blessing!