An assignment of refinement. It’s a term I read once while reading a book by one of my favorite authoresses. I used to just call it, “I’m so messed up and this just is NOT how I should be living! How in the world did I get like this? Ok, how do I change?” Somehow that seemed a bit lengthy and harsh.
This assignment of refinement is one that has been whispering at me for quite some time but I have found every excuse, it seems, to keep putting it off. There was always “one more thing to try” or “one more thing that needed to be taken care of.” You know how you get that little voice in the back of your mind that keeps telling you what you should be doing? Cartoons like to portray it as a little angel perched on your shoulder.
Sometimes you go ahead and do it because you know you’ve tried it before and it worked. No biggie. Other times you wait and wonder if maybe you’re going a little nuts or if you heard it right. I am being urged with the task to be still. Yup, that’s it. Be still. (Now you may not wonder why I haven’t written in a while.)
For weeks I pondered on what in the world it meant to “be still.” What was I supposed to be still about? Obviously I can’t just freeze frame my life, I would have 5 ravenous children demolishing the house. They already do a fine job of that, even with me literally following 3 steps behind them with my little handheld vacuum.
I researched, I prayed, I listened, I tried different things…I was STILL being told to be still. So finally, one afternoon, God and I had a little chat and after I had done all the talking I said something that sent a little ping into the lightbulb. I asked God to test me. I always ask him to continually break me where I need breaking and to mold me and guide me. But this time I asked him to test me when, where and how he saw fit.
I guess I had a fresh supply of moxie that day or something, like a boxer who’s been training and is ready for her first big fight. Send me in the ring God! Then, nothing. Nothing right away, that is.
Since that day I have learned a couple things about being still. Some of them may be well learned and some I may still need some tutoring. Firstly, being still requires one to rest IN God. Far too often we kind of just lean against Him until we see something that catches our fancy and want to have a go at it on our own terms. Or when something scary happens we run to him and either duck under his wing until the storm passes or we boldly stand in front of him and plead for him to just fix it.
Being still is more than that. It’s placing our hope, our faith, our trust and our well being in God. Knowing that, no matter what, He will see you through and it will be better than before. It’s not an easy thing to do because we can’t foresee the future, but when things get to a point where you really don’t know what to do, it’s time to be still. God will carry you through to where you need to be and He will let you know what you need to do when the time is right. First, though, you need to be still and know that He is God.
“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
Secondly, I also learned that when you ask God to test you, He’s going to do it! It will not be when you expect it, nor in the ways that you would think he would test you. Some of them will come sporadically, many of them will come one after another. I had someone share with me a bit of knowledge that I’m grateful for; God WILL give you more than you can handle sometimes. It’s when we rest IN him and in his strength that we find the peace and courage to get through it. Tests and trials are made for us to grow closer to Him. To turn away from the darkness and seek out the light.
You know those creepy movies where you know something bad is going to happen if the character goes into that dark, quiet, foreboding cavern? Where you’re sitting there telling them to turn back because they’re stupid and you know someone’s going to die, get hurt or something freaky is going to jump out? Yeah….that’s what God is trying to tell you each time you start walking down that path that leads away from him. Stay out of the dark cave for pete’s sake and just stay where everything is well lit. You can see things coming at you a little better and it’s not as scary! You’re in the light! God is light.
SO, in a nutshell, being still has been an adventure. There’s an oxymoron for ya. I have had many things thrown at me. Some manageable and others quite scary. However, I only have to be still today. Tomorrow He may tell me I need to do something else. For now, though, I have come to enjoy the strength I have gained, the growth of spirit and self, and the courage that I have found while resting in Him. Courage and respect for myself and who I am in him. All from finally following two little words….Be Still. If God is telling you to do something, if He is nudging you to do something, do it. If you don’t know if it’s Him telling you…check it. If it lines up with what scripture tells you then I’d call that a safe answer. God would never tell you to do something He has clearly written that He is against.
Tags: Be Still, courage, faith, God, strength, Test, Trials, Trust
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