Learning about Jesus

Be Still.

Noise.

Whirling all around us, and, as is so often the case for me, inside of us.

Take a moment and step back from what you’re doing and observe the sounds all around you. Right now, I hear coworkers talking and laughing in the distance while the air conditioning system blows air loudly through the office. At my desk, music is playing quietly – low enough that I can’t really even hear what the singer is saying. Mouses Clicking. Typing. Doors opening and closing. Papers shuffling. Phones ringing. The sounds of my weekday life in motion.

Most of the time, I can handle that kind of noise, but the noise inside of me can easily become much more overwhelming.

My heart beats in an anxious patter and my mind dances to its rhythm – what if I don’t get everything done today? I might let people down. Then they might not like me and it might be difficult for me at work. Do I care? Why do I let what other people think about me run my life? I need to get over that, I’d be happier. Let me go over what I need to do today again so I don’t forget. I should make a list. I’ll probably lose track of the list. What was I just doing? Oh no! I just remembered, I have to go to the post office! I can’t believe I keep forgetting that. Oh my gosh, and I need to remember to call back that person at 10 when their office opens. I’ve been putting that off forever- just get it done already!  

Ever so softly, whispers sneak around below the surface of those thoughts:

You’re not enough.

You can’t do it.

You’re anxious.

You’re forgetful.

You’re worthless.

You can’t get anything done. 

Well, well, we’ve pulled back the curtain a little bit on my own special brand of crazy thoughts- isn’t that nice!

What does the Lord have to say in response to all of this? Well, for me, there is one verse that God laid on my heart from my early years that speaks to the whirlwind of thoughts in me – revealing the heart of God toward His children.

Does anyone else have the same spiritual pride problem as me, where you deemed something God is trying to shape in you, to be too “basic” to deserve your attention or to be worked on? So you walk around in your own little personal version of 40 years in the wilderness like those stubborn, unhappy, unbelieving Israelites you remember hearing about in Sunday school… if they could have just gotten their act together…

I, like the Israelites, always think I know what’s best for me.

God – you may be whispering to me to quiet myself and surrender to you – but I need to work on sexual purity right now. So pipe down, Jesus. 

You may want me to love you more and more, but I want to focus on how easily I get angry. Let’s work on our relationship after I’ve worked that out (*to be clear, I’m planning on addressing that issue on my own, in my own way – I’ll let you know how it goes). 

Listen, Jesus, Lord of the Universe – I know you know everything, but really, I think I really have a sense of the best course of action on this one, so let’s do it my way. Love you!

Of course, I’m not saying that out loud, but with the message communicated through my thoughts and actions – I’m 100% saying that.

I think while that’s sad/disappointing to God, I also think one side of his mouth might tug up in a half smile as he looks understandingly, compassionately, and incredibly patiently on His creation. So as I walk around the desert trying to be in control of my own life, He walks next to me quietly waiting for me to arrive at the same conclusions that He knew all along were the right ones for me.

Be still and know that I am God. 

Be still – rest, let go, surrender – and hold to this truth: I am God. I’ve got this. You can rest, because I am the one that has been, is, and always will be in control. I am the One that has got this.

This same message – of stillness, of quiet trust, of resting in God’s control  is echoed throughout scripture:

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.- Isaiah 30:15 (NIV)

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. – Matthew 23:37 (NIV)

Today, I acknowledge the stubborn heart in me that would ‘have none of’ the comfort and rest that comes with letting go and resting in the Maker of the Universe.

Abba Father, may my heart change from being obstinate to submissive to You. And may I discover the abundant life that You so desperately desire me to live in.  Amen.

Listen to the noise inside of yourself – is there a gentle breeze and calm waters or are your thoughts and feelings better described as a hurricane? Bring that to the Father, who has shown himself to be the Master of stilling the storm in us.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven. -Psalm 107: 28-30 (NIV)

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