September 5, 2023
An Invitation To Settle Your Unsettled Soul
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“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 (NIV)
Do you find yourself in a season of unsettledness? Like someone or something has hijacked your peace? I found myself there several years ago, in ways that complicated my life beyond what I could have imagined.
I think Jesus, in His humanity, may have often experienced a troubled and sorrowful soul as He walked the earth. We see that demanding crowds surrounded Jesus (John 7:12; Luke 8:42b), and He experienced grief at the loss of friends (Matthew 14:12-13; John 11:35-36). But most profoundly, Jesus expressed sorrow over the gravity of His assignment and what lay ahead for Him and His disciples, whom He loved dearly.
When I see Jesus feeling His feelings, I want to learn from Him … watch what He does … pay attention to what He says.
Matthew 26:36-46 tells us Jesus took three of His disciples into the garden of Gethsemane with Him, asking them to pray for Him. Jesus then went deeper into the garden alone to pray and receive strength, processing His emotions as He surrendered His will to His Father’s.
This image gives us a beautiful picture of what it means to take a sacred pause with God. To slip away alone to a quiet place and wrestle through those times when our souls feel overwhelmed with our circumstances and the things we struggle to understand.
This is where the holy habit of solitude comes in. Solitude requires temporarily removing ourselves from people to be present with God. I call it my “be still” time with God. One of my most treasured ways to spend my “be still” time is reading God’s Word.
God opens the book of Psalms with a wonderful blessing for those who choose to be still with Him in His Word. Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night” (NIV).
The word “meditate” brings to mind the image of sitting quietly, pondering and reflecting upon a spiritual truth we're studying. That is the meaning of the English word. However, in Hebrew, this word is hagah. It means “to moan, utter.” It’s often translated “to ruminate, eat or chew on.” This Hebrew connotation creates a much more active and powerful image of meditation.
Friend, today I’m inviting you into “be still” time with God. A sacred pause where you meet Him in His Word to hagah a verse or passage of Scripture. For example, I chose Romans 15:4, our key verse for today:
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
This verse reminds me that the very Word I’m spending time in was sent by God to settle my unsettled soul. Even if my unsettledness continues, His Word will sustain me, equip me to be steadfast, and encourage me that He is with me in the stillness.
Because in the stillness, our Father draws near. He sits in the pages of Scripture, waiting to speak to us, minister to us and bless us.
Please know that as you set aside time to be still with your Father, I’m praying this prayer with you:
Lord, please settle my unsettled soul. Help me carve out time to sit with You and hagah Your Word. Still my soul and calm my heart as You did with Jesus in the garden. I’m waiting to receive the words You have for me to quiet my heart and settle my soul. I trust You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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We can’t choose when anxious thoughts come our way, but we can choose how we fight back. Learn how in our next Online Bible Study, Rest for Your Soul: Simple Practices When You're Worn Out and Weary with Wendy Blight, starting TODAY! Get access to exclusive conversations with Wendy about walking with a friend who struggles with anxiety, maximizing your prayer life, and how memorizing Scripture can help you right now. Sign up now!
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Matthew 26:36-38, “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me’” (NIV).
How might you commit to more times of solitude this week? I invite you to take one sacred pause with God each day. Here are a few Bible verses and ideas to meditate on during your time with God: Hebrews 1:3 (God’s glory), Colossians 3:12-13 (loving and forgiving others), and Psalm 4:8 (peace and rest). Share your own favorite verses with us in the comments!
© 2023 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.
Originally published Tuesday, 05 September 2023.