Over the last week or so I have felt strange. A bit heavy in heart I think, but not out of anything I could really point my finger to.
Sunday morning, our pastor got up to speak and said something quite similar. I was initially half listening as I was settling in from coming off the stage myself post worship, but as soon as he mentioned this heaviness he was experiencing on his end, my little ears perked right up.
He mentioned that he sometimes can allow the world to affect him and went on to wonder how often he brings the world’s strife with him into the pulpit. It made sense to me then, and it makes complete sense to me now, yet here I am still with a first class ticket on the struggle bus express!
Most days I pride myself on being gung ho team God, but lately I feel as if this dark cloud is hovering over me. It is so odd because I just can’t seem to adequately describe to anyone what I am feeling. I’m not sad or depressed, not even really anxious at all. It just seems a bit like someone has fashioned a little overcast cloud around my temple and its following me wherever I go. I am still 1000% team God. I’ve just temporarily traded in my cheerleading outfit for the clean up crew. I feel as if I’m kind of passing through and checking boxes.
For the past five weeks I have been working through a lent devotional. Every day I find time to sit down and reflect on what the book is saying, what God is trying to tell me or teach me, spend time in his word and I journal alongside it. For the last few days I have been DREADING it. I sat down just before writing this, opened the book, stared at it for five minutes and realized that I needed to just sit and talk to God.
So I pushed the book aside, asked God what the heck is going on with me right now, and apologized for making my devotional a chore. God desires our companionship, he doesn’t force it. As I began speaking, I was brought to silence and the same four words cycled through my head.
Be still and know.
Over and over… be still and know…. be still and know.
Be still and know what?!
And you’re all thinking… DUH Aimee, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
I know this, I know God is who he says he is. I know he’s in control. In no way am I disputing that. So I sat there explaining the same to Him. I read through Psalm 46 in its entirety and man, what a bleak passage. What a bleak, dark, difficult, amazing, incredible, joyous passage.
In that silence I heard God’s voice, not the world’s noise. The world is trying so hard to block him out by filling the silence with nonsense. I have been so focused on anger around me in both those near to me and strangers from afar. The war in Ukraine, politics, responses about nearly anything on social media, and the Will Smith/Chris Rock debacle have been overshadowing the glory of one true God that cannot be overcome by anything, especially man himself.
Now my focus has been well intentioned. I’ve been hurt by the responses to the above issues and I’ve been angry myself towards injustice. These are not bad things. Where I have failed is allowing the hurt and anger to slowly consume me to the point that I have a cloud wrapped around my head, acting as invisible ear muffs.
It’s not until I stopped and said, “God I know you’re here. What’s wrong with me?” that he blew away the mist and breathed into my ear, “Be still and know.”
God is here. God is in control. The world is a disaster and we are at fault. He will continue to pick up the pieces and shine his glory upon our faces, especially when we aren’t deserving. (Spoiler alert, we never are.)
This week I’ve had a number of chats with my little girl. My little girl who is so bright, funny and creative. She is often stuck in a cloud of her own despite her frequent energetic demeanor. Ironically, I have been telling her to push away the expectations and lies the world throws at her. She so badly wants to be accepted and loved by everyone that she’ll bend herself to any mold set in front of her. Our conversations this week have centered around blocking out the world and loving who she is right now, because that kid is amazing!
The world may not love everything about you, but God does! The world will tell you what to wear, how to style your hair, what music to listen to, who to be angry at, etc. The world will constantly shift gears because its fragile and inconsistent. God never changes. He never leaves. He is always there, guiding, listening, and comforting us. My daughter is fortunate to have so many who love her, but even when everyone has gone away, God remains. He has been here since the beginning and He will remain until the end, because HE is the one who is over everything.
My daughter’s struggles are vastly different from my own, but there is one similarity. We’ve each allowed the world to fill our head’s with noise, and as a result allowed it to overpower God’s voice. The Holy Spirit is our tether to God himself. We feel secure knowing he’s there, but as soon as the mist covers the rope holding us steady we feel lost and restless. Thankfully we just need to reach out and grab on. He never lets go.
Psalm 46 1-11
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah