Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Be Still And Know That I Am God

I spent last weekend at a hermitage center called Pacem In Terris in St. Francis, Minnesota. I went there at the recommendation of a coworker to spend some time alone with God. I sat in a tiny little cabin with no electricity or plumbing (just a gas heater and light from a gas lamp) or out on the attached screened-in porch and I walked around in the woods and the prairie. I even sat down by a lake for a little while and looked out over the loose chunks of ice still dotting its surface even though it was 55 degrees out.

The point of the center is to give Christians a place to be alone with God. I was there to have a private conversation with God, to bask in his presence, and to rest from the hectic life that sometimes distracts me from him. I digested a lot of things that have happened in my life and talked with God about what was coming next. I asked for guidance and I thanked God for everything I have received so far. More than anything, I embraced the peace of being alone with God and recognizing that He has everything under control. He is my refuge, my strength, and my help in times of trouble.

Something very important happens when I am quiet and calm and fully aware of God's presence and His majesty—I stop being afraid. I'm not afraid of the challenges that are coming in my life, because I know God will be with me. I'm not afraid of failing at my calling, because I know that God designed me specifically for it so that I could do His work simply by following my deepest instincts. I am not afraid of being defeated or destroyed by naysayers or adversaries because God will give me strength. I am not afraid of being thought foolish for the choices I make in following God because God's wisdom so far surpasses ours that human wisdom is like foolishness in God's eyes. I am not afraid of being alone, rejected, or unloved because God loves me. I am not afraid of Satan or even of my own sinfulness because God saves me.

So many fears creep into my life when I am busy and distracted. Will God make my monthly budget work out? Will God get my husband a teaching job in this lousy economy? Will God help me get pregnant? Will God help me say the right thing when I am nervous about telling others about Him? Will God cure the nagging self doubt I feel or give me a future worth working for? The truth is that God will do much more than any of those things. He has given me life and a purpose and is providing every single thing I truly need to grow and thrive as a living soul. He does not spare me from all trials and challenges, but He rides them with me and carries me through to the other side. With God in my life, there are no limits—all things are possible.

God is more than I could ever imagine, and it is only when I am quiet and in communion with Him that I fully appreciate that concept. No matter what I learn or don't learn in this life, God will know more. No matter how well I understand myself or those around me, God understands us better. No matter how weak or strong I feel, God will lend me the power to do whatever He has asked of me. If God is with me, who can be against me? What is there to be afraid of?

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

1 comment:

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