God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
(Psalm 46 ESV)
This season of my life my full focus and Jesus time has revolved around the passage above. There are other things on my list to study and learn more about, but as of now, all things are on the shelf until Jesus says to pick them up again.
In grad school, the Lord use to whisper in my ear over and over again to “Be still and know that I am God, Renee”. I fell in love with that verse while learning to actually b-e s-t-i-l-l. I don’t think I had been still prior to that….much at all.
During my still time (as I’ve written about before), the Lord taught me alot about himself, his love for me and his love for others.
Since then trusting God for others has been pretty easy for me. There was a time that my heart felt the full weight of others and their insecurities, life messes, blindspots, attitudes and choices. The waves in their life had a great impact on me. I didn’t want them to miss out or pass up on God’s fullness for them and it was emotionally hard to watch them walk down roads that didn’t seem good and also very rewarding to see them experience the blessing of God. In my first “be still” season, the Lord taught me alot about not “internalizing” the weight of other people’s lives and trusting him to move on their behalf. In the season of experiencing his overwhelming love for me, my heart was so reassured that he loved them the same and I could never love them the same or move on their behalf the way he could, would…and wanted too. I learned to let go of other people.
By no means do I not feel compassion for people now and my heart is moved to action still or broken at times for the ones I love, but the Lord has really taught me how to be obedient and act on his behalf while simultaneously letting go of the weight, pressure and heaviness my humanness wants to attach too. Remember, his yolk is easy and burden is light.
As always, I’m a work in progress. A disconnect of the above lesson occurred in my life sometime recently. I really have no idea the time frame exactly, but it’s what the Lord has been stirring in my heart for a few weeks now. Hence my current tunnel vision to learn to be still in my own life and trust that because of His love for me he is working and moving behind the scenes in all areas of my life.
For me being “still” in this season is not referencing the physical act of not moving.
Be still means in my personal life I am being
- slow to respond
- slow to speak
- slow to act
- slow to make a plan
- slow to think
- slow to dwell
- quick to let go
- quick to let God respond, move and have his way
My problem personally has been that I’m a go getter, who despises to-do list and things hanging over my head. Whether it’s a task, need, problem, relationship…anything, I don’t like waiting for something to get accomplished or resolved.
I like efficiency in my personal life, so I have time to do all the things I love doing.
As a result, I often encounter something listed above and quickly make a plan and try to clean it up, implement the change, move on…and enjoy my life. Sounds good, right?
Well Jesus said no, it does not at all.
He has been working on this heart to stop every time I encounter a fear, situation, opportunity, need, etc.
Like, he wants me to stop and do nothing. This means the internal stress of having things to do hanging over my head is trying to drive me insane. Yet he continuously keeps whispering to me, “Renee, Be Still”.
This isn’t easy for me. I wish I could say this is a quick lesson. Hear the whisper, change and move on. Instead, I’m getting to continuously encounter the annoyance of myself, and deny my instinct, perfect my deep breaths and ask the Lord to help me let go.
Sometimes I don’t listen and I respond when I know I shouldn’t. Like two weeks ago. So here’s my fail story….
This is my favorite hair straightener that I stepped on in heels and broke. It breaks my heart to see my straightener in pieces.
Problem: Broken Straightener
Situation: I am on a very strict, non-negotiable, get out of debt in the next 18 months budget. Therefore, I cannot just hop online and buy a $130 new straightener, even though two weeks prior, I would have done that without thinking for more than one second.
What I knew in the moment: I knew the Lord had been working on my heart to be slow to respond and “fix things”. I also knew that although the budget is a proposed plan, I needed to stick to it and trust the Lord to provide for me. Here cares about all the details of my life…including having awesome hair.
What I did: I decided the logical thing to do in the moment was research pricing and great deals. I found a place to get my favorite straightener for half the price. That’s a 50% savings which seemed like a “blessing from the Lord” himself, so that night I bought my new straightener. Fail.
What I didn’t know: Jesus had already started working on my behalf in a friends heart to buy me a new straightener. Um, weird? Nope…not weird at all. That’s what happens when you let God move on your behalf- HE ACTUALLY DOES. I hadn’t talked to this precious friend in quite some time, so I later found out she was nervous to approach me cause she thought it would be weird. (which I totally understand although talking to her is never weird- it’s awesome and makes me heart smile)
The End Result: I have had lots of drama with my “discount online store” from China and received the wrong straightener…had to pay to send it back….and still have no straightener. However, I have been thinking about the above mentioned friend for days and have been praying for her- with no knowledge she was thinking about me or my hair straightener. As I said earlier, we haven’t spoken in quite some time.
I text her today and just told her I have been thinking and praying for her alot lately…I love her and hope she has a fabulous and fun day.
I had no idea I was opening pandora’s box.
A rather hilarious chain of text occurred….and she asked me a “random question” about if I got my straightener. I explained my chinese drama…and said no. She said God told her to buy me a straightener she just hadn’t responded cause we hadn’t talked in some time.(insert shocked face emoji’s here)
What a sobering reminder this morning, that the Lord is working on my behalf, in all areas of my life.
- I have to be patient (because he is moving on other people’s hearts and that takes time)
- I have to be obedient (Because he is moving my heart to perfectly cross with their hearts – when they are ready)
What did I learn today?
That had I been patient AND obedient the Lord would have perfected my situation…Instead, I was obedient (to pray for her and text her) but NOT patient- meaning that I have had to deal with Chinese drama and no straightener the last 2 weeks. In the end, it’s all working out because the Lord is good and sweet to not be phased by our messes, but to still work things out in spite of us.
I am learning this lesson…
….slowly and certainly with a little bit of self-imposed drama…
but I’m so thankful despite ME the Lord is still moving behind the scenes in my life to take care of me. He cares about all things in my life, including hair straighteners.
Rest assured- no detail in your life has been overlooked. He is moving on your behalf. Be patient and be obedient and he will unfold a much better story for you!
Here’s to doing better next time….