September 23, 2011
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a).
Friend to Friend
There was a crisp chill slipping through the window as I headed to the couch to get with God before rushing into my day. I filled up my coffee mug, lit a cinnamon bun scented jar candle and nestled into my corner spot. Before I could get comfortable, however, I realized that the combination of the morning breeze and the ceiling fan were a bit much for my shorts-clad legs. I jumped up from the couch and turned the ceiling fan off … for possibly the first time in five or six months.
As I got back into my comfy prayer corner, I looked up at the fan, now still, and drew a deep breath of surprise. Dirt! All over the blades of my ceiling fan! And when I say that I saw dirt, let me tell you, it wasn’t just a smidgeon … it was a good amount of dirt. Yuck. When did that happen? How did it get there? Note to self: clean fan today.
I brought my Bible and prayer journal to my lap, ready to talk to God and seek His direction for the day, but before I could even lift my pen and open the Word, I heard a soul whisper, “Be still.”
“I’m here, Lord! Ready to talk. Ready to pray,” my heart responded.
Again…the whisper, “Be still.”
“Like the fan, LORD?” I wondered?
Then it hit me: when I slow my soul to still and listen quietly, God gently shows me the dirt on the blades of my heart. You see, I’m an action girl. I love to move and chat and go, go, go. Dust doesn’t settle on my days – but – as God reminded me, dirt sure can settle on my heart.
I nod knowingly. “It’s Your kindness that leads me to repentance, oh Lord.” (Romans 2:4)
When I slow to still and know that He is God, I am face to face with His holiness. In light of His holiness, my wretchedness is revealed. His love and kindness brings revelation that causes my heart to ache for restoration. So I confess. I confess my mess. My heart dirt. And His mercy runs. Before the confessions leave my tongue, the blades of my heart are sparkling. Wiped clean with the righteousness of Grace. Beautiful, far-reaching grace.
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to thosewhose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9, ESV).
This grace is for every one of us – and it begins and ends with Jesus Christ. It’s for me. It’s for you. Whether you are at work, at home, at the hospital or in a jail cell. He’s whispering, “Be still.” Whether you are struggling with life strains or are in a season of reprieve. “Be still.” Whether you have a house full of crazy noise or an apartment filled with ordered quiet. “Be still.” Whether the diagnosis is cancer, the sting of betrayal is fresh, the Hope you cling to resounds, or you are weary and unsettled. “Be still.” Know that He is God. Know that He is good. He is in control. He loves you. He is able. He is holy. He is worthy. Oh, so worthy.
Then, in the stillness … respond.
O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
(Psalm 139:1-6, 23-24, NLT)
Dear Lord, I’m here. I’m still. Please reveal my heart dirt. (Pause to listen and reflect.) I confess these sins to You ________________ and I ask that you remove them as far as the east is from the west. Thanks for capturing me with Your grace once again. Help me to know and love You more today.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Now it’s Your Turn
· Read Psalm 139 in its entirety. Pray responsively or journal about the inescapable presence of God.
· Be still before Him.
More from the Girlfriends
The noise of life can be so loud. I’m right there with you trying to hit the mute button each day. Failing on many days. One way I’ve found to center my heart on God is to hear stories of His grace. Broken into Beautiful is a book filled with stories – real stories … gritty and honest, not cleaned up and phony. It’s also filled with Scripture that will inspire you toward the life-changing grace of Jesus. To order the book, go to Amazonor, for a signed copy, visit Gwen's website: www.gwensmith.net.
LOVE MUSIC? Check out Gwen's new CD, Uncluttered.The songs of Uncluttered are purposed to sweep you away from life-noise and to focus your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ.
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Originally published Friday, 23 September 2011.