Oct 26, 2017

God Pause by Guest Designer Jan Hess

 Recently, Jessica has been encouraging you about the importance of being still.  What a seemingly impossible challenge this is for most of us!  I think I can hear many of you saying, “How are we to be still when the nations are in a frenzy, the weather is in a tizzy and our lives are so busy?”  Well, how do we do anything that is impossible for us?  Jesus replies, “What is impossible with man, is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

Did you know that the words, “be still,” are a command from God Himself?  No, it is not the “lost 11thCommandment!”  God gave this command at a very tumultuous time.  Psalm 46 gives us a summary of that period in Israel’s history.  The temple musicians composed this song during the days of the kings of Israel and Judah, after the kingdom had been divided and the surrounding nations were constantly threatening to overtake them.  Consider the many unsettled circumstances mentioned in this short psalm: nations raging…mountains quaking…seas roaring…waters foaming…earth melting… weapons firing…kingdoms falling.

We might imagine that the psalmist could have composed this song about our day!  But the maelstrom exists not only in the nations “over there” or the weather “out there.”  No, it is right here…here in my home, my relationships, my job, my heart!   And in the oft-rising, super-woman persona, we demand that we must remain in the center of the bedlam in order to fix it, control it, solve it, or scream “be still” at it!  But that is not where we belong!  Psalm 46 verse 5 tells us that “God is in the midst…” of all the pandemonium.  Yes!  Our God is in the center of it all.  And from this prime position He commands, “BE STILL!” (verse 10).   In the original language of Hebrew, this means, “Cease!  Relax!  Sink down! Let go!”
Reading these words, I hear my own tone of voice as I recall moments when I commanded my children to “STOP IT!” when they were tangling about in their own messy madness and I wonder, “Is that my Father’s tone?” I think not, for His command does not stop there.  The One who is slow to anger, full of compassion and abounding in lovingkindness, continues, “…and know that I am God.”  The Almighty, the Everlasting, the Unchanging God, Who makes wars cease, Who calms raging seas, Who restores our peace, wants us to know Him!  Not just ABOUT Him, but to KNOW HIM personally, intimately, experientially.  This word “know” is the same Hebrew word we read in Genesis, “Now Adam knew Eve and she conceived.”  (Genesis 4:1) Now, that is REAL knowing!

When we find ourselves in the throes of busyness or distress or conflicted relationships, God calls us—commands us—to stop what we’re doing, to say “no” to the feverish “I’ve-gotta-fix-it-right-now” pace, so that we will know Him more intimately, trusting in His sovereignty and resting in His power to accomplish all things that concern us. (See Psalm 138)  
Might you pause for a moment and pray…Dear Father, thank You for being with me in every situation. You know whether I sit or stand.  You are fully aware when I am tossed about by the winds of the day.  You see my heart when I’m overwhelmed, being torn from this side to that.  By faith, I believe that You are right here with me.  From the center of my chaos, enable me to hear and heed Your command to stop, to relax, to sink down and know that You Are.  Teach me to trust that in my letting go, You let loose in the situation.  Then I will experience Your faithful, trustworthy character and be changed.  In the calming name of Jesus, amen.
The Lord gives us a great promise in Isaiah 30: 15 saying, “I will keep you safe if you turn back to me and calm down. I will make you strong if you quietly trust me.”  With that wonderful assurance, the next time you find yourself raging, roaring, foaming, melting, remember the God Pause…STOP. KNOW. I AM.
Note:  In my next two blogs, I’ll be sharing more insights from Psalm regarding our awesome God and His command to BE STILL.  Be sure to check it out!

In His love, 

Jan Hess

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