October 3, 2020
“Be still, and know that I am God;…” ~Psalm 46:10
I think I have a faithful prayer life. I pray every day, and some days, multiple times throughout the day. Of course, I have days when the content of my prayers is lacking and other days when my prayer leaves me feeling like I have the power to take on the world. One thing is for sure; when I start my day in prayer and in the Word, I always feel energized. And I take that energy and I move on to the checklist of the day. But God... But God has been nudging me. You see, I talk to God. Oh, I can talk. When I pray with my 5-year-old daughter at times, she patiently waits for the “Amen” and then says, “Mom, that was too long.” There is no lack of communication on my end. What I seem to forget, and what God is so graciously reminding me, is to listen. How can I be obedient if I don’t listen? How do I deepen my relationship with God if I don’t give Him a chance to respond?
So, I have been making a conscious effort to listen. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. I sit at the kitchen table, looking out the window with my morning coffee in my hand. “God, ok, I’m listening. What do you want to tell me?” Then it happens. My over-active mind. The distractions. The to-do lists. The reminders. My voice saying, “Stop, focus, listen for God.” It is a conscious effort.
This particular morning, I tried to find God in nature. I stared out the kitchen window at the beautiful live oaks. I was staring at one specific section of branches and leaves. And I don’t recall what came to me first; but I heard “Be still, just be still”, and noticed that this specific section of the tree was doing just that. It was so still. The branches weren’t moving. The leaves weren’t blowing in the wind. It was just still. “Be still, and know that I am God.” So simple.
As I continued to “be still” and stare at the very still branches and leaves, they reminded me of the current state of the world. The twists, the turns, the mess, the distractions. But beyond the entangling of the branches and the leaves, I saw the glimpses of blue. The beautiful blue sky. The heavens. The place where God dwells. Where there is peace. If we can just get beyond the twists and turns, the mess and distractions and be still, we can fully be in the presence of God. We can feel His loving arms wrap around us and hear Him say, “I’ve got this. I’ve got you.”
I then went to Psalm 46 in my bible and read it in its entirety. God is so awesome. Such a fitting psalm. When God speaks, it makes so much sense and it all fits together. Listening to God brings so much blessing and clarity to our lives. Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11 says “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling…Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.” In today’s current climate, this spoke volumes to me. God gave me all this through the trees. And all I had to do was be still.