Today was a full day. Had the anticipated meeting with a group of pastors and church people on the subject of marital abuse. Shared the program with a criminal court judge, an abuse advocate, and a professional counselor. The advocate and counselor had heartbreaking personal stories of their own that they’ve had to deal with. But the result is that they are helping others out of their own experience and strengthened faith. Those present had a lot to ask and add to the conversation. Wish I had more time to talk to them all personally.
Now I’m in the middle of a 5 hour drive home. Stopped at a roadside coffee shop that I figured would have free WiFi and let me catch up on your comments today. You all are something else. Thanks so much for comparing notes once again!!
Also wanted to try and capture for you a thought that has been on my mind the last few days. And now that I’m sitting still for a minute I’m once again sensing the calming force of the words:
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). They show up in a chapter that begins, “God is our refuge and strength, a very help in trouble” (46:1).
Just the other day, I discovered a richness of meaning in this phrase that I hadn’t seen before. The Hebrew word translated “be still” has a broader range of meaning than to “stop making noise”. The scope of the original word includes the renderings of, “to let drop, abandon, relax, refrain, forsake, to let go, to refrain, let alone, to be quiet.” A literal translation, therefore, could be “relax-you”.
With this breadth of meaning, I’ve been thinking about how important it is to do more than just stop and “be quiet” before the Lord. So often I also need “to let drop” an anxious thought; to “abandon” the thought of changing the past; “to relax” in the powerful presence of God; “to refrain” from obsessive, self-protective thoughts; “to forsake, let go and let alone” the “what ifs” that are weighing me down; and “to be quiet” in the presence of the God who is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Yes, there is a time to work hard, and to persevere, and to use all of the strength our God has given us. But I’ve found far too often that not “letting go of my anxious thoughts and self-defeating stress” is more apt to eat me up– than to be what God uses to calm me with his presence. Now again, just being still…
Well, soup’s gone. Coffee’s down.Thoughts are ready to post, and I need to hit the road. Still thinking though about all of the different ways I need to learn better–tomorrow– to “Be still, and know…