"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
Kevin and I had a great conversation last night. I really wanted to write, but budget night won priority for the computer. :) As I was driving home from work, (once again doing my deep soul searching in the car :] ), I was thinking about the things that have plagued me with anxiousness lately. In the last couple years, as I have gone through some significantly major transitions in my life, I have struggled with times of some serious anxiety. Yesterday I was thinking about some changes that are coming for me at school, and I was playing out all the scenarios in my mind. Then I started wrestling with why in the world I would spend so much energy and time trying to figure out something I have absolutely no control over. My obsessing over this particular situation will do absolutely nothing to change it. Lately, God has quietly convicted me over and over that he is consistently calling me back to simply trusting Him.
In the bible God calls us to "be still." He asks us to have a "gentle and quiet spirit," one that has an unwavering faith in He who promises to take care of us. A few years ago, my brother preached a powerful sermon in which he talked about the Hebrew translation for the term "be still" in the bible. It literally means, "let go of your grip." I love this because it's been so painfully accurate in my own life. Isn't it true that the times we feel most unsettled, most anxious, and most filled with worry are the very times or circumstances we are most desperately trying to control? God of course knows what we really need is to literally "let go of our grip," and lean completely into who He has promised He will be for us.
While Kevin and I were talking last night, we started focusing on what joy really is in the midst of a life often filled with stress, sadness, and circumstances that are entirely impossible to understand. We talked about how true joy actually translates into complete peace. Real joy ultimately reflects a relationship with Jesus that is so surrendered, so intimate and sweet that it is not easily shaken.
Kevin was sharing with me a conversation he had yesterday with a small group of some seriously God-seeking men. He said in the midst of their conversation about how God doesn't really need us, an illustration suddenly dawned on him. He thought of the example of how a father will invite his son to participate in an activity with him like washing or working on the car, taking care of the yard, or assisting him in grilling out. Why does the father allow his son to help? It's certainly not because he needs him. It's because the father loves his son, he longs to connect with him, and he treasures the time they can spend together. And he knows that it is primarily through these every day parts of life they are able to share together that he can most effectively teach and train his son. Most importantly, through these times he is able to cultivate a powerful level of trust between he and his son.
It makes so much sense that this would be the very way it is between us and God. It is an absolute privilege that He allows us to participate in His plan on this earth. It should be our joy that He invites us to share in the fruit of following Him. He doesn't need us; we are merely vessels that He chooses to use, yet He absolutely delights in us as His creation and those that He so passionately loves. He longs to share an intimate joy with us that produces a powerful peace. He constantly communicates that we can absolutely trust our loving and life-giving Father.
So my challenge to you today is to "let go of your grip." Be still. Be silent. Refuse to insist on getting your way and demanding to be in control. Get to know your heavenly Father. Ask Him if you can participate in the plans He has for His people and surrender your life to doing so. He will lovingly and with great joy allow you to join Him. You cannot know the fruit before it is time for the harvest. But you can absolutely trust the Gardener.