Recently I have been discovering what it means to be still with God. And by “being still” I mean lack thereof.
My brain and my overall presence has been pretty frazzled recently. I have basically been on auto-pilot for the last month in attempts to make it through this semester in one piece. It’s taken all my energy not to throw in the towel on school and maintain a healthy attitude.
Flashback to winter break:
Break was great because I actually got to rest my brain for a while. I spent a lot of time at home coloring and listening to music. 🙂 I also felt like I was in a place where I was available for God to speak to me- and He did. My life was quiet, my brain was quiet, and I was still.
“Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.” -Psalm 37:7
Well, I’ve been kind of failing at the “being still” part and the “presence of the Lord” part. I didn’t even realize it until after weeks and weeks of a busy schedule that I haven’t been still at all. That just goes to show you how effectively this world can sneak up on you. It feels like driving a car and getting caught up in your thoughts until you realize that you’ve driven into the middle of nowhere.
I’d like to give you a little insight that I’ve picked up in the last couple days, so hopefully you can be aware of your own level of stillness.
Reasons why you aren’t being still
You may just be too busy. I love to keep a busy schedule doing things that I love. I get some cheap thrill when I make it through a season where I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, but this is a surefire way to not keep your head in the game and your heart in touch with God. In Brant Hansen’s book Unoffendable, he talked about a period of his life when he and his family spent a lot of time at home, together, doing basically nothing. They started getting funny comments from their neighbors like “I’ve looked outside and seen your family. I’ve watched you. And when I see your family, I don’t even know why, but I think about God.” Now, I don’t know if I could ever slow down my life to the point of doing “nothing” but I think there is something to be said for restfulness. You can read more about Unoffendable in my review here.
Your lens may be too small. As in you “lens of life.” (It’s cheesy, sorry) But honestly, if you are getting caught up in day-to-day drama then you may need to zoom out to get a bigger picture of things. Or perhaps you are one of those people who is always counting down to the events in the future. I am pretty guilty of this. Of course it’s ok to have aspirations and things to look forward too, but learning to be content in the present is essential when it comes to learning to be still with God. Learning to be happy in the present moment means learning to be happy all the time.
Learning to be still
There is a concept in meditation that your objective should be to reach a state of simply letting things be. For example, you may have a thought enter your head, but you should try to simply let it go and not get caught up in the fixation. You should be able to look at something and not form an opinion of it. I do not practice meditation (although I would like to) but I can definitely see the benefit of this concept. You don’t have to have an opinion on everything. Likewise, relentlessly holding onto your own opinions and feelings about worldly issues won’t do you any good in the long run. Learn to let things go.
You can always surrender it to God. If you’ve found that your lifestyle is just too busy to make time for God in your thoughts, then pray about it. Ask your friends to pray about it too. Maybe you just need some strength to get through this busy season, which is pretty much every student ever. Pray for peace of mind and a stillness of heart so you can better hear God despite your busy life.
Get in touch with creation. It’s summer baby! Go outside and appreciate this beautiful earth! I believe that one of the reasons why I became so close to God when I worked at camp was because I was outside all the time. It’s hard to ignore God when you are experiencing his creation.
How being still can help you
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.” -Psalm 62:5-6
We all need God all the time. Learning to be still with God is a practice that will constantly remind us to keep Him in our lives. It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of school, work, family, friends, and whatever drama you are experiencing, but it’s worth the time and effort to learn to be still in Christ.
Even though I put Jesus on the back burner for a while, I don’t need to feel remorse or guilt for letting my guard down. I don’t have to write a paper or stay after class. I can pick up with God right where I left off, no strings attached, and that is what Amazing Grace is. You can do that too!
There are several times in the Bible where stillness is expresses. Here’s a list of 25 Bible verses about being still. 🙂
Is quieting your mind and being still with God something you struggle with? Leave a comment, I’d like to get a discussion going!