“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
As I write this reflection, I am remembering that a few winters ago was a bit different for me. I went in for what I thought was going to be minimally invasive meniscus and plica band surgery in my right knee. My husband and I were planning to go on a backpacking hike in Alaska that summer, so I needed to get myself in “good condition” with plenty of recovery time so I could begin training for this next big adventure. In addition, I did not think much of it. After all, my son Nathaniel, who is affected by Cerebral Palsy, has endured two brain surgeries and one double hamstring lengthening that year and recovered amazingly well (thanks be to God and your prayers). Well, little did I realize, I drastically underestimated my recovery and thought I would be well on my way to hiking once again in a few weeks.
As it turned out, I continued to struggle with simply climbing up and down the stairs, making walking much more difficult to move to/from the car, and sitting for long periods of time without pain. I ran up against my resistance to “be still.” For those of you who know me, this is no easy task. I often find it easiest to be still in my mind and in my spirit when I am out in nature and hiking.
After wrestling with the fatigue and heaviness of heart, mind, and body, I resigned in prayer that God was inviting me to something new. He wanted me to enter in “fully”…with my mind, body, and spirit into this stillness. Through my imperfect “stillness”, God has been showing up and continues to pour His love into my heart. I am beginning to see how my life is not all about what I “do”, even for the Lord, BUT who I am…and being open to receiving the infilling of His grace, His Holy Spirit, and His love “right where I am.”
Where might God be leading you to “be still”? Ask God to reveal to you those areas of resistance to “being still” and invite Him to bring healing to your heart, to your mind, to your spirit, and to your body...
Recently, I came across a brilliant prayer exercise introduced to me by author, Katheryn Shirley based on Psalm 23.
As you consider praying for “stillness”, I invite you to try this as well:
Read through Psalm 23…
Underline each “action” God takes as your shepherd
Read this psalm once again, circling each “benefit” you receive from God’s action as your shepherd
From this exercise, I was able to enter into a very real conversation with God about my “inactivity” and His “activity”…my “powerlessness” and His” power”…my “child-like dependency” and His fierce protection as a “loving parent.” After you have an opportunity to pray through this exercise yourself, I would like to encourage you to re-read those words that attracted your attention and ask God to reveal His particular invitation specially designed for YOU.
May the Lord bless you abundantly this upcoming year, may He heal you, strengthen you, encourage you, and protect you in His loving care…may the gentle invitation of God’s natural creation be a channel for His grace to work wonders in your life today and always.
In Jesus’ name, Amen