My resolve ~ my prayer for 2012 is that my heart would humbly bow in obedience to this Word from the Lord. Nothing less... Nothing more... than to be still and know that He is God.
I'm a collector of clocks. To date, we have 18 clocks hanging on the walls of our home. "Why, then," my husband would ask, "did you buy another one last week?" That's easy! Because on it's very large face are written the words, "Be still and know that I am God"! Duh!!! That beautiful clock, though one of many, sums up my prayer for this "time" in my life!
I am entering the 48th year of my journey here on earth... 40 of which I have professed Jesus to be my Lord. Don't miss that!... my Lord! That means precisely, that my times are not in my hands, but HIS! That means that all my striving is in vain if not in response to His commands!
The NAS translation of the Bible says in Psalm 46 to "Cease striving and know that I am God". That means that in order for me to "be still", I must cease what I am doing now ~ "striving"! Unfortunately, I've done a lot of "striving" in my 40 year walk with the Lord. Especially when life seems out of my control; when unwanted pain blows in; when disappointment clouds my view; when the world is falling apart around me and it appears that God -my Lord- might not do anything about it!
It's about that time that I strap on my boots and get to work ...I mean "striving"! Who do I need to talk to? What can I say? What must I do to "fix" the circumstance of my life when God might fail to move quickly enough on the timetable I've established? But it is there, in the midst of absolute chaos, that God calls out! "Be still, Lori!... Know that I am God!"
How slow I am to learn that my times are not in my hands! They never were! How absurd for me to think that I am in any way capable of controlling the circumstances in my life or in the lives of the people I love! God is God... I am not! Psalm 127 says that "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it." How I have exhausted myself in useless "labor"! How many hours of my days have been in vain, because I was building MY house, MY way?... or repairing broken walls with man-made mortar?
I'll just be honest and admit that I am exhausted! 40 years of such building has been enough to wear me out! I've finally decided to hang up my boots, pack things up here, and move into His place! I think I'll work for Him instead! I'm old enough now to realize that independence is highly over-rated! Only pride insists on being in charge all the time and having life on my terms! Other than my kids between the ages of 17 and 25, who wants it??? It sounds like way too much responsibility to me! Besides... my track record in ordering my own life stinks! I have the best of intentions for myself, but when left alone, I'm known for making a real mess of things!
This might not be a very popular thing to say, but I'm starting to think we women got a better deal than we thought at first glance, when we were put in the "submission" category in almost every relationship apart from mothering! I've decided that was a pretty good deal! I no longer envy the responsibility attached to power. Let my man answer for that! I'm having enough trouble with the 6 left under my charge as it is! :-)
With every passing year, I am more and more aware that my control over life is just about equal to NONE! And the wisdom that comes with age, makes me more than OK with that! I can finally breathe a sigh of relief! God's got it! He's got it all! I can rest!! It's almost as if God stands up in Psalm 46... raises His hands to quiet the chaos... and says, "Be still! You've forgotten who's in charge here!"
OK, I admit it... Maybe I wouldn't have personally chosen to get the job done the way God has. I can't count the times I've wondered in the midst of really difficult circumstances, if life really has to be this painful?... Does it really have to include such loss?... Apparently, it does!
I'm learning the hard way that growth doesn't come through ease. Take me on a trip down easy street and you'll likely see me walking backwards! (...and quite content to do so, I might add!) Being conformed to the image of Christ is not for the faint of heart. It is hard work! A deeper faith and an abiding trust that pleases the Lord, will not come easily! Hebrews 11 says that "without faith it is impossible to please the Lord". That flies in the face of the way I most often respond to life's challenges! But ever so slowly, I am learning that my striving does not please Him. Picking myself up by my boot straps doesn't either. Instead...my resting in faith ~ my "stillness"~ pleases Him!
I have huge burdens following me from last year into 2012...
My precious Rachel's heart is still so broken ~ "Be still..."
Another child is far from home and my own heart is broken ~ "Be still..."
We have the paperwork necessary to bring another orphan home this year, but do we? ~ "Be still..."
I feel weak to do all you've called me to do, Lord! ~ "Be still..."