Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
With only five days left in this series, I think it’s important to spend some time considering not what stillness is according to formal definition, or even what we’ve searched thus far, but to look deeply inside our own hearts and search for ourselves what stillness means in this very moment -not what it meant yesterday or even five minutes ago, but what it means right now.
There’s an element to stillness that calls for finding the very best in everything. We need to Look for God’s fingerprints. The problem is that it’s often difficult to be aware of what God is doing in situations that are the hardest of hard.
In John’s gospel, he recalls the story of when Andrew approaches his brother, Simon-Peter, and tells him, “We have found the Messiah.” After this, Andrew brings his brother to Jesus. The text tells us that when Jesus saw Peter, He looked at him, identified him by his given name, and then named him Cephas.
I know we’ve talked previously about how Jesus saw Peter for who he was to become, not who he was in that moment. However, this particular verse gives proof, so I want us to take a look at it.
In John 1:42 when the Bible says Jesus looked at him… that word looked in the Greek is emblepo. Emblepo actually means to consider or look at with the mind. So when Jesus looked at Peter in that moment, He considered him.
And we know from 1 Samuel 16:7 where God looks concerning man…
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Later on, after Peter denies Jesus for the third time, Luke tells a similar story using this same meaning of the Greek word emblepo. Peter makes eye contact with Jesus in the garden and once again we find Jesus considering the heart of Peter.
But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
While that moment had to have been heart crushing for both the Savior and dear friend of the Savior, Jesus knew that Peter’s story was just beginning. And it’s amazing to consider that the blood, which was shed on the cross, covered and redeemed the life of Peter, that He might be the cephas (stone/living stone) that he was meant to become.
So, right now, as you evaluate the present circumstances of the moment, can you look inside and consider the grace you’re living? Do you see His fingerprints on your situation?
To define stillness in each individual moment takes a concentrated effort. It means casting off all the bad and accepting that God has a plan in everything, even when it hurts.
Friend, I have things on my plate that I don’t make a practice of sharing because for me, lips cannot utter the bottom layer of grief over situations that seem unending. So if you feel the same, I get it.
And so along with you, I’m considering the moment and wrapping myself in His grace. I’m choosing to cast off that with which the enemy wants to destroy me, and move towards the person whom Christ knows I can become.
He considered Peter, and He considers us, too.
He looks deeply at the heart, and so we must look deeply inside each moment and choose “the still life” we are meant to live.
If you’ve missed any part of my October Series, The Struggle to Live a Still Life, click here and scroll down for links to previous posts.