Tuesday, July 14, 2009

be still (and quiet!)

"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

My Table 20 girlfriends and I were encouraging each other via email the other day. My beautiful friend, Tara, has a passion for digging deeper into God's Word. She loves to pull out all of her reference books and research what each word and verse mean.

Tara shared with us that in Psalm 46:10, the Hebrew translation for "be still" actually means to "drop your hands." (Did your spirit jump at that? I know mine did. Definitely hits home doesn't it?)

The photograph above is one that Geoff took while hiking with his Portland to Coast team from church. This is one of the team member's dog who is apparently still learning the meaning of "be still." :-)

The first time I saw this photo I totally cracked up. Until I realized that it's the exact thing I do to myself when I get stuck in my flesh and start striving.

I forget that God never asked me to get myself all worked up and stressed over making life happen.

That long list of to-do's I wrote this morning? Sure the jobs need to get done; but in God's time and with God's strength. All of them. Every last one.

Sure, I can get myself worked up and feel overwhelmed and inept, but what good is that going to do? It certainly doesn't get my jobs completed.

As I was thinking about the true translation of being still, I was reminded of one of my favorite songs, "The Stand."

I absolutely love to worship my Creator and King with full abandon. When I do, my arms are raised to the heavens and my mind and heart are focused solely on Him. The physical act of being still and in His presence. (When my hands are raised, it's impossible for me to strive!!!)

Can you see the difference, my Friend? I can choose to get myself totally worked up in my doing that I end up totally immobilized. (See Exhibit A above. Thanks Mr. Puppy. I know you weren't any more amused that I am when I end up like that!)

Or, I can make the choice to stop striving and just be in His presence--which, funny enough, actually relieves all of my burdens and stress and equips me to do the work He is calling me to be. (See Exhibit B below. I chose this video because seeing photos of God's creations just leaves me feeling so very humbled and in awe. Enjoy.)

The choice is always ours. God is gentle, patient and full of compassion.

I don't know about you, but today I needed to be reminded that my to-do list does not own me and God truly knows what is best for me.

Today, I am choosing to drop my hands and return to LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Turning my eyes back on Him,


Denise @ A Sacred Longing said...

It is those daily if not minute by minute choices that I am finally coming to grasp with...my choice...His grace...why would I choose anything else (and yet, sadly there are too many times I do - and end up looking as perplexed as the pooch).


Anne L.B. said...

Amy Jo, the song is great. The words of your post are what I need. And that photo! 1st response: ROTFL. 2nd response after reading post: oh no, it IS me!

ellie said...

seriously great analogy for that photo :) love that song! Hillsong was our home church :) you are making me want to go back there!!! don't you just love to worship our loving creator? kinda clears everything up doesn't it??

Thanks for sharing another great post :)

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I love "my to-do list does not own me." Needed *that* reminder today. Beautiful video! The picture of the dog drove the point home too.
~ Wendy

Girly Girl Mommy said...

Another great post! The Lord spoke right to me through your words today. I was taking a few minutes to browse a few favorite blogs before running back out the door to get the kids to continue another hectic day that didn't start off on the right foot and was feeling all worked up when I landed here... I've just made a much better choice about how I'll continue this God given day :)

Joy Portis said...

Your posts always hit home and challenge and inspire me. You are a beautiful writer Amy and should consider publishing a book of devotions! You have a special gift and I am blessed by you my sweet friend!

When is that sweet boy coming home?!?!?!?