Be still. Cease striving. (Psalm 46:10)
Wait patiently. (Psalm 37:7)
Be silent. (Exodus 14:14)
I love these verses, but I’ve never been very good at following their instructions. I try… then I remember that it’s the trying that gets me into trouble and that only in surrendering to the Lord will I find victory.
In recent weeks, the opportunities to practice such disciplines seem to be abounding through times of sickness, multiple situations that I can do nothing about but pray and wait, and now – a pulled/torn muscle in my abdomen that hurts every time I move.
When I was sick a couple of weeks ago, someone who knew I was sick sent me an email with a great devotional. (It comes from a book called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. She writes as if Jesus is speaking the words to the reader.)
Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again. Some of the greatest works in My kingdom have been done from sick beds and prison cells. Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of these very circumstances. Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Me.
Quietness and trust enhance your awareness of My Presence with you. Do not despise these simple ways of serving Me. Although you feel cut off from the activity of the world, your quiet trust makes a powerful statement in spiritual realms. My Strength and Power show themselves most effective in weakness.
Zechariah 2:13, Isaiah 30:15, 2 Corinthians 12:9
I was so grateful that day for this reminder and because of it chose to use that sick week to sit at my Savior’s feet, lifting others up, and enjoying time with Him… being sick really didn’t seem so bad anymore as I thought of and prayed for the countless people in my world facing cancer and other diseases, the realities of war (physical and spiritual) going on around the world, issues of hunger, people facing devastating losses, etc. My small sickness gave me time to fight in prayer.
It also gave me time to think about time and how our Creator doesn’t waste a moment of it. His purposes are always being worked out and nothing and no one can thwart them. Not a step in our lives is wasted when we turn our desires towards Him. I feel like I need to repeat that… maybe to you… or maybe just for my own benefit … NOT A STEP in our lives is wasted when we turn our desires towards Him! — time in a job that may not be a dream come true, time in a location that’s less than the ideal, time when you’re unable to get up and go chase after what you’d LIKE to be chasing after, time when your circumstances don’t match up with your dreams — is NOT wasted when we turn our desires toward Him. His purposes prevail! Even in those times.
I wonder how many times and how many ways I’ll need to learn this lesson in my lifetime… :)
“Choose joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And perseverance must finish its work, so that you may become mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4