Peace in the Stillness

He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

The day I gave birth to Annie, my first daughter, was filled with excitement. Seventeen days past her April Fools due date we were finally going to meet this child I had waited on and prayed for, for eight long years. From the early morning ultra-sound to the late-afternoon delivery the day was filled with excitement and wonderment, and the room and hallway filled with family and a posse of friends from our new church. After the excitement of the day – when the room stood empty – friends and family gone …new dad home to rest … baby girl wheeled back to the nursery for TLC from the nurses ..and me – alone. Alone to absorb all that had happened, to embrace the reality that I was a mother, that God – after all these years – had not only heard my prayers for a child but had answered them. I reached for my Bible on the nightstand beside me and there was peace in the stillness of the room – peace in the knowledge that I was not alone. While there isn’t time or space here to explain all that transpired between me and God in the beauty of the stillness – I can tell you that it was in those still and quiet moments that He awakened my soul; and while I didn’t know it at the time – He started me on a path that would lead me to understand the truest meaning of ‘Be still and know that I Am God’. A statement which is best defined in the context of our verse today as “cease striving”.

Actually, He had started me on the path just about a year before Annie was born. Long story short, I had worked for years trying to make God happy enough with me that He would give me a child. When the prayer went unanswered despair and poor choices would inevitably follow and then the days of striving to be good enough would begin again. This was a cycle that continued for years – That is, until my mom shared Philippians 4:11-13 with me, a passage that teaches contentedness in whatever circumstances we are in. In need or in plenty, well-fed or hungry… and yes pregnant or not – God wanted me to be content – not just with my circumstances but with Him and His will for my life. Which is exactly what I committed to do. Don’t get me wrong, it did not stop the prayers for a child but it changed the way I prayed and the response to the monthly answer. And now here I sat, talking with God, in a hospital room waiting for the nurse to bring me my baby girl! I could have never seen then what would come through this child and the years ahead of us but through it all – and to this day – I have learned (and continue to learn) with much practice – to:

  • be still and know that He is God”
  • rest, knowing He is in control
  • stop, and remember His will is always better than my desires
  • cease striving to get what I want … and instead
  • surrender to His will
  • let go of frustration and disappointment ~ and
  • trust His way and perfect timing

 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:11-13

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