Want peace? Start here.
The Lord had drawn me to peace, but I suddenly realized there was more.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
How could I have missed it? All the times I’ve considered this verse, meditated and journaled it, how could I have missed this important truth?
STILLNESS COMES FIRST.
Does this ever happen to you? You read, study, even pray for clarity about one of God’s holy truths, only to later discover, either soon or years after, that you missed something? “Ah, a good reason to hang close to humility when teaching,” I nudge myself into remembering.
My initial understanding stood firmly on a biblical principal: God gives peace, an association I often made with stillness.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:25)
I’ve known the amazing peace God gives in the most troubling times of life. There’s no denying the source.
But are peace and stillness synonymous? In humility, I’m rethinking it.
First “be still.”
That’s what the psalmist writes. And in that stillness there is something to know. So what is this stillness that quiets me enough to know He is God? I need more understanding because, I’m realizing… knowing He is God is much bigger than knowing I’m at peace.
At its most basic, “stillness” is the absence of movement or sound. Most of my life has been neither stationary nor silent. Maybe that’s why the instruction to be still comes directly from heaven. We’d likely never think of that as a way to know God.
But God tells us to go there first. Then we will discover that He is God. Stillness is a place reached only by intentional travelers.
It’s exciting to take a new trail on this journey of Christ-following. Some who read this blog will be far ahead. Would you consider saying a prayer for us who are behind? Others may be like me - - curious, expectant explorers.
I plan to investigate God’s Word, as He investigates me. (Psalm 139:1). I’ll also study the writings of others who have gone ahead and share both with you as I go. Along the way I’ll also pause to share my experiences as I arrive at special destinations, the places I discover He is, indeed, God.
Here is one to get us started from Tracy Balzer, author of Permission to Ponder: Contemplative Wisdom for the Spiritually Distracted.
"…Silence leads to the soul and…facing the depths of our soul is one thing: encountering the Almighty is altogether more daunting. When pressed, we might prefer a comfortable chat with God, the kind that comes in the midst of warm fellowship on a Sunday morning. But being still and silently attentive to God is to be open to the possibility of the violence of a burning bush or the chill of a still small voice – or, even more disturbing, no real ‘experience’ at all. Our God is not one to be cornered, nor does he cater to whims. To enter into silence is to enter into the kind of mystery that puts us in our proper place and allows God to be in his."
TO CONSIDER: a time and place in your day when you could enter into stillness.