One of the many things I find so awesome about God is the clarity He brings to us through His word on how we are to live our lives.
Psalm 46:10 instructs us to “Be still, and know that I am God.” Being still is a concept too often lost in the clamor of commitments, alarm clocks, schedules, appointments, obligations and “must do’s” that fill our minds and our agenda books in the rush of today’s world. Listening for the still small voice of God is often lost in the deafening clamor around us.
Last year, God taught me a very important lesson about all of this. I had kept an especially frantic career pace throughout 2001. In the latter part of the year, in the midst of my fall tour, I found myself exhausted and sick. I was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy-a temporary condition that causes the facial muscles to become paralyzed.
Although it was a relatively mild case, I spent two weeks on the road quite miserable. My eye on the affected side had to be taped shut in order for me to sleep. I had trouble eating and drinking. My smile became a funny sort of half smile as I could only control one side of my mouth. The medication they gave me wiped me out to the point that I was sleeping much of the time.
In the midst of all, God was faithful. Laying in my bunk on the bus feeling sick, I had much time for reflection and for repentance. My life had become much too busy for me to “be still,” as God’s direction book tells us.
With this came a new quest in my relationship to the Heavenly Father. It led me to Zephaniah 3:17. The NIV version says: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” My favorite translation, The Message, says it this way: “He’ll calm you with his love, and delight you with his songs.”
That revelation of God’s Word was medicine to my soul and body! Out of it came the creative birth of one of my favorite songs, “Quiet You With My Love,” which I wrote for inclusion on my Worship God CD. It was my Father’s personal message to me.
But God took me a step farther. Last year, I did something I had never done before. I took some extended time off. I purposed to set aside time to just be with God with the hope of learning from Him the art of “just being.”
Alone, I boarded a plane for my homeland of Australia. With no real schedule in hand, I visited grandparents, cousins and friends. I stayed at the beach, swimming and just pondering the majesty of God in the crashing waves and awe-inspiring sunsets. I did kid things that I had missed doing, like riding horses on the Outback and doing an all-day bike ride in the rain. I stayed up late to talk to God under the extravagant canopy of stars in the Australian sky above me. I got up early to welcome the sunrise. I slept late because I could. And I prayed.
In the midst of my sabbatical, I learned to listen to the still small voice. God was faithful to teach me the art of just being still in His presence for restoration.
I fully got a handle on the lesson that He has created us for His pleasure to be human beings, not “human doings.”
Though I’m back on tour and the demands of life and career are all around me, I have a quiet place in God now within myself where I can go to seek daily the wisdom I need to keep me in balance. I can often sense God quieting me, and my heart sometimes leaps at the awesome thought that He might today be actually rejoicing over me with singing! The art of “just being” is a lesson I shall carry through my life. Stand strong in Jesus!
Copyright © 2004 Christian Music Planet, used with permission.
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