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Be Still

Be still and know that I am God

Psalm 46:10

I’m not very good at sitting still. In fact, that’s a pretty big understatement. My default state tends to be busy, both mentally and physically…constantly rushing from one thing to the next with a brain that seems to be going 100mph and rarely wants to switch off. Can anyone else relate?

I like lists and multi-tasking - I used to infuriate my Mum by revising in front of the TV. I like my diary to be filled with a variety of carefully colour-coded engagements. I love meeting and being around people and score highly on the Extraversion scale on all the personality tests I’ve ever taken. Needless to say, being on lockdown by myself and furloughed, so no longer able to work, has been quite a challenging experience for me - as I know it must be for many. Yet, the biggest message I have been hearing from God over and over again during this time is ‘be still and wait on me.’

A few months ago, in the pre-lockdown days (anyone remember those?), God began speaking to me about the importance of taking time to slow down and to pause. I remember once sitting at a set of red traffic lights on my way to work. The light had been red for a while, so I had put the car in neutral and engaged the handbrake. The car was at a complete stop. I felt strongly in my spirit the Lord speaking to me, “This is what it feels like to actually stop.”

It got me thinking. When driving it’s important to have these moments to stop. Red lights cause us to stop to prevent us getting into an accident, putting ourselves and others in danger. Service stations allow us to stop on long journeys to refresh and refuel ourselves and our vehicles. These moments to stop minimise the risk of harm and allow us to continue our journey safely and for longer.

In the Bible, Jesus often took time out to rest, refresh, and refuel (Luke 5:16). He would withdraw to a solitary place to pray and spend time with His Father, to hear God’s voice, and be re-energised before going back to what He had been tasked to do. Jesus understood and modelled the importance of pausing to listen to God. I believe that it’s in these moments of quiet and rest, when we cut out all other distractions, that we can most easily hear God. After all, it wasn’t in the storm, earthquake, or the fire that God spoke to the prophet Elijah, but in a gentle whisper.

“After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper”

1 Kings 9:12

How often in our daily lives do we create the time, space, and quiet to listen to that gentle whisper?

For me, that’s been one of the many blessings I am choosing to embrace during this time of change and uncertainty. The chance to slow down, to dig into this time alone with God, and to quiet my spirit to really hear His voice. I pray this will be a practice I continue into whatever the next season will bring.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Revelation 3:20

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