September 20, 2013
The Power of Quiet
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul (Psalm 23:1-3a, NIV).
Friend to Friend
There are times when laundry takes over my house. Piles build up, though I try to stay on top of them. Many of the clothes are clean and even folded, but not put away. That tricky put-away-part is always hard for me.
Then there are the socks. Oh, the socks! They burden me so! It causes me to wonder. Does an unseen sock nation exist? Are sock-soldiers are on a secret mission to destroy my testimony and drive me crazy? Divide and conquer. That’s what they do! Why can’t socks just behave? Why can’t they ever stay in pairs, and where am I supposed to put the socks that remain unmatched? Sigh.
Unmatched socks and folded-but-not-put-away-laundry tie me up in knots. Sometimes days go by before I make the time to put them away. Shameful. I know.
Is it just me?
I’ve come to realize that my days can be a lot like my laundry situation. At times they get piled up with busy. Sabbath gets squeezed out. Now, when I say Sabbath, I mean the priority of sitting before the Lord just to sit with Him… quietly… expectantly… to listen... to be restored. Though I do include God in my days and breathe prayers throughout, when I don’t sit before the Lord and exercise the spiritual discipline of being quiet before God it seems that both old and new burdens can tie my heart into a big frazzled knot.
It had been one of those weeks. Knots. Knots. Knots. Then I finally remembered the power of quiet. I remembered My Restorer. As I sat in the cool still of the morning with a hot mug of coffee in my hand and the warming presence of God in my soul, the burdens of my heart began to drift away. Direction came. Joy resounded. Mercy rained. Peace… deep peace fell.
The Spirit of God transformed my soul, my thoughts, my goals, and my day. It was as if I had slumbered half the week away. This is where they go. This is where my burdens belong. The old ones that I’ve written about time and time again in my prayer journal and the new ones that are just beginning to unravel from my heart. This is where they go! I just needed to put my continuous stream of life-burdens away like the unending piles of laundry. Then: order, soul order… peace, compelling peace… joy, divine joy and restoration… it all came.
I sat in wonder.
In His presence.
Convicted of my failure to remember the power of being quiet before the Lord. Of course this is where they go. I knew that. I knew that. Lord, forgive me. Oh, how I’m thankful for your daily mercy showers. I was met in my mess by the Lord my Restorer.
Each of us is invited to experience God as our Restorer. To know the renewal we long for each day. Jesus invited us personally when he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
When our lives get too busy – when the laundry piles up in our homes and the burdens pile up in our hearts – we often forget the power of quiet. The power of being still before God. The power of listening, expecting, soul-pouring … receiving rest from our Restorer. His presence sorts souls and never leaves an unmatched burden.
His presence never leaves an un-lifted burden.
How great is our God?
Take some time to power-down and be still before Him right now. Remember the power of quiet as you accept the renewal invitation of Jesus and exchange your burdens and knots for His peace and restoration.
Dear Lord, Your mercy is fresh each day, and Your grace piles higher than all my laundry and all my heart-woes. Thank You, Lord! I’m here. Please align my heart to Yours. Quiet me with Your love, direction, and peace today. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.
Now it’s Your Turn
When is the last time you sat and were still before God – with no music playing, no TV on, etc.?
When we spend purposed time with the Lord, beautiful things happen. Look up Zephaniah 3:17 and fill in the blanks below:
“The LORD your God is _______ _________, he is mighty to save. He will take ___________ ______________in you, he will _____________ you with his ______________, he will _____________ over you with ________________.”
More from the Girlfriends
Are you up for a personal GiG challenge? I challenge you to add a ten-minute “Sabbath” to your day for the next week. (I recommend you do it as soon as you wake up, but that’s your call.) Simply sit before the Lord and let Him know you are there. You might want to start your time by reading a psalm and responding in prayer. Then be still. Just ten minutes a day for a week. Ready for the challenge? Make a public commitment on my blog or Facebook wall. Simply post, “I’m in for the Sabbath Challenge!”
Today’s GiG devotion is adapted from Knowing God by Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, & Mary Southerland by permission of Multnomah, division of Random House, Inc. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, free on-line video intros, and this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.
Originally published Friday, 20 September 2013.