I have begun to learn a lot about myself during this extended time of rest. Perhaps I knew this all along, but needed life to be put on pause to see it clearly. I discovered that I have a problem with being still. There is this urge that I keep sensing that I must be doing something productive at all times.
I find myself mimicking the majority of our society where if there is no constant output, there is no success. I especially noticed this urge during my quiet time with the Lord as well as when in conversation with my husband—the two things that involve relationship.
Interesting isn’t it?
Why is it that in today’s society, we value productivity over people?
Daily regimens over relationships?
In this time, I believe God is teaching me, and teaching everyone, how to BE STILL. He’s also teaching me how to be present in His presence—not thinking about the next thing on my agenda.
A friend of ours explained to us that during his 40 days of prayer he had begun meditating in the presence of God for exactly 10 minutes, uninterrupted, every day. Before beginning, he read one scripture that he could focus on. Then, during the next 10 minutes he did absolutely NOTHING, but listen to the holy spirit and be still.
Sounds easy, right?
Not when your mind is tempted to wonder about what items you’re going to pick up from the grocery store, or how your family is going to pay rent, or when worries start to surface about a sick family member or friend. God is concerned about your concerns. He feels and understands your pain. But in order to truly understand that God is greater than all of those things we must follow Psalms 46:10:
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”
We cannot ever know who the Father truly is until we are still and quiet enough for Him to speak to us. In that quiet time, He reminds us of who He is and what He can do, He showers us with love and compassion, and He whispers to us the secrets of life. All the ways that God has been good will flood your mind and so ensues a heart of gratitude. Your time with the Father is not something to be checked off your list. It is because of Him that you even have the ability and the means to complete it.
Resting isn’t easy. As a matter of fact, it takes hard work to get our minds to just rest! When I say “rest” I’m not referring to laying on the couch and taking a cat nap or “Netflix and chill”. I’m referring to the rest that was spoken of in Hebrews 4:10-11:
“…he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest…”.
The King James Version uses the word “labor” to enter into that rest. We actually have to work at being still. Seeing the fast pace of our world doesn’t make it impossible to see why it is so difficult to rest. God’s work is already finished. Your victory is already guaranteed. His promises for you are already established. Rest in that.
I challenge you to take 10 minutes of stillness with God every day for one week. You may find yourself extending that time, not wanting to leave the beauty of His presence. Let’s also not choose to just rest in those 10 minutes with Him, but let’s rest mentally and emotionally throughout our day.
The list will get done, but choose to be present and still in the moments that matter. With your loved ones and the people you encounter, be present in your conversation and time spent with them. Don’t rush to the next thing. In the quiet place, you will realize that peace, love and joy live there.
Ashley Walter is a wife, a teacher, and a lover of Jesus Christ. Her goal is to remind people of who they are in Christ when the world, the enemy, and even their our own self-doubt tries to make them think otherwise. Her blog is www.ashleymwalter.com.