Being Still is only the first step

psalm 46 NASB

I found her that day with untied tap shoes on her feet and eyes red from crying.

We zipped into the ballet studio, one mom and three girls (plus one baby boy) on a mission.

Three daughters in four back-to-back and sometimes overlapping dance classes during observation week.  This means instead of huddling in my minivan or zooming around town doing errands in between classes, I sat in the corner of the dance class taking pictures.

We all piled into my youngest daughter’s class except for my tap-dancing girl who left to change into her tap-tap-tappy shoes.  I watched the clock carefully and slipped out just in time to check on her before her tap class began.

She wiped her eyes and explained, “I couldn’t get the ribbons on my shoes tied and I didn’t have anyone to help me….”

I tied the ribbons swiftly and then smoothed down her hair with my hand.  Then I said it so she knew it wasn’t just about shoes anymore:

You didn’t trust me to come help you.  I knew you’d need help and I came just in time.

She’d been frantic and upset and all along I had a plan for her rescue and I was right on time, not a second too late.

So, all her fretting had been unnecessary drama.

And when is fretting not?

For months, I’ve dreaded this schedule and the packed-in craziness of our agenda of these few weeks.  I feared the stress—-as in, tearful eyes, breathless suffocation just thinking about it.

But here we are.  We’re making it.  God is gracious.

Those mornings I feared how it could possibly work out, the details of each day that I just couldn’t figure out in advance, the way my to-do lists exploded at the start of each day…it’s all been in God’s hands.

When I felt that familiar strangulation of fear, I heard a still and small reminder: Don’t worry about that.  Just think about today.

So I did.

I focused just on today.

And God has been bringing me the perfect rescues at the perfect moments all along, despite all my worrying and fretting that it’d all fall apart.

Why?

Because I’m learning to trust Him.

I trust Him to bring me the help I need exactly when I need it.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

So often, we read that familiar Psalm—-BE STILL and know—and we focus on the stillness (Psalm 46:10).

Yes, stop with the flustered activity, the desperate attempts to fix things on our own, the frantic search for help from everyone except the only One who can truly save….

“Cease striving” it says in the NASB.

So, for a moment we pause.

Here’s what I’ve been learning—“Being still” is not enough. It simply tells me what not to do.

Don’t rush around in frantic activity.
Don’t try to do everything on your own.
Don’t come up with your on fixes and try to force your own solutions.
Don’t keep a white-knuckled grip of control on your circumstances.
Don’t rehash regrets or dwell on hypothetical problems that haven’t even happened yet.

I can’t forget, though, that after I’ve ceased that striving and calmed my heart, God tells me what I should be doing in the stillness.

The verse tells me to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 ESV).

Know Him.

Know He is God.

Know that He’s got this under control and I can rest because He cares for me.

He is I AM.  He isn’t just the God who was or the God who will be faithful.

He is here.  Now.  In this very moment, I rely on His presence.

So, like Moses standing there on a holy mountain before a Holy God, I pray that I may know Him:

If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you (Exodus 33:13).

Because, God, in order to dwell in Your presence day after hectic day, I must be still and I must know.  I want to know You more, know You as I AM, know You as God present with me.  ~Amen~

Originally posted February 11, 2014

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