Learning to be Still

"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 (NIV)


I turned over in my bed, still deep in the fog of sleep. I had only been asleep for two minutes, I thought. Slowly coming out of my dream world, I realized that my name was being called for real. My two-year-old daughter was standing by my side, her little mouth barely reaching the top of my mattress. The darkness of the room required time for my eyes to adjust to the inky blackness. I didn’t need a light on to know what kind of emotion my little girl was feeling. She was terrified and couldn’t tell me verbally what was wrong.

I felt her little hand groping for my arm. The strength of her grip gave me an idea of the intensity of her fear. She was trembling as her sobs came in gasps. I was fully awake now and reached out for her to come under the covers with me. That girl did not want to have any space between us! If it had been possible to crawl under my skin, I think she would have done it. I smoothed her hair and started to hum a familiar lullaby in her ear. I didn’t talk at all, only sang to her in the dark and held her in my embrace. The clenched fist of hers full of my pajama top slowly opened as her vice-like grip on my arm relaxed. Soft breathing replaced the sobs as sleep claimed her once again. I did not have the energy or the inclination to try to carry on a conversation with her at that hour of the early morning. With her little body snuggled up close to my side, my presence was enough to still her fears.

There are times, my sweet sisters, when I am just like my two-year-old daughter with my Jesus. Something happens that totally rocks my world. The sobs come from fear that threatens to overwhelm me because, initially, I can see no way out. When I am smart enough, I know that I must run to the throne of grace to receive mercy in my desperation. Sometimes I don’t even have the words to tell my God what is troubling me so. Like my daughter, reality and irrational fear can sometimes blur together so that I start losing hope that I can be rescued. It doesn't matter if I can't verbalize what is going on in my mind and heart--my Jesus knows already, even before I come shaking with my fears.

I have been confronted with a great irony. I don’t always need to have a conversation with Him about all that I am terrified over. My fears are stilled when I enter His presence. The terror cannot clutch my heart when I am still before Him and know that He is God , when I open my mouth and praise Him for His greatness. In between my sobs, I only have to say, "Jesus, thank You that You are all powerful. Thank You that You can hear me. Thank You that You are bigger than what threatens to pull me into the pit." I have come to Him begging for His embrace, like my own sweet baby, and He has allowed me to enter into the circle of those everlasting arms of His. My situation never looks as bleak as it did after being with Him. In His presence I find hope, peace, and joy that can completely defy the terror I should, in my humanness, continue to have.

How long has it been since we have practiced His presence? If we can’t remember, then it has been too long. Let’s be still and know that He is in control of all that we face today. And let’s tell Him that we need Him even more than the answers to our fears.

Jesus, You are my strong tower. I can run to You and find safety in Your presence. Help me not fool myself into thinking I can do this life on my own without You daily in my life. Thank You for Your peace that passes all understanding. Teach me to be still and know that You are God.