For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)
I have reached multiple low points at multiple stages of life. None ever feels as low as whatever one I am in at the moment. Consistently, in my despair, God whispers again and again to me, “Be still.” At a particularly low, low time, He reminded me from Psalms 20:7 and Isaiah 31:1 that I can not put my trust in my 21st century version of horses and chariots. I tend toward putting my hope in such things all the time. These are the things that I think I can manipulate to bring resolution to whatever issue over which I am struggling. What can I DO to fix my situation? And, certainly, we are not to lay passively in struggle or trial, allowing ourselves to be run over unwisely. If we are sick, we call the doctor. If we are sinned against, we confront the sinner. Yet, regularly, my attempts at wise response in crisis fail to resolve my situation in the way I fully desire. I run out of things to try, sit staring morosely out of the window, and start to hear the still, small voice of God saying, “Rest, wait, and be still. Don’t trust earthly options to ultimately solve your problems. I am God. I am sovereign. I have not left you as an orphan. I have a plan that I will bring about.”
In stressful situations, our human fight or flight tendency wars with the repeated exhortation from Scripture to be still and trust God. Over and over again, I feel the need to DO SOMETHING. What should I do? Thankfully, I often don’t know how to resolve my situation. At first that feels hopeless – I guess I’ll just sit on the floor in despair unable to change. Then at some point, in faith, it transforms – I guess I’ll just sit on the floor waiting on God to change things, who regularly instructs me in His Word to do just that. And that place of waiting when I’m personally out of options to fix myself or my situation is exactly the place that God has brought me, so that He in His time can fix me and my situation. The 21st century version of horses and chariots are anemic resources for my struggles. Horses and chariots are easily thwarted by Satan. But God is not. He’s not anemic. And He is not defeated by Satan. And He does show up. ALL. THE. TIME. He shows up in big and small ways. He meets us in those moments of defeated silence, and He moves us from despair to strong hope in Him, His Word, and His Church. Whatever long term issue you are struggling with now, be still, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! (Psalm 37:7)
Wendy, thank you for sharing this today. I really needed this message right now.
…Psalm 62 is my cling-to-passage when I'm struggling.
What can I do?
vs.8 …pour out your heart before him”
I'm about half way through Randy Alcorn's book about Spurgeon's talks on Heaven. In the last section he (spurgeon) was talking about how there was always a darkness-heaviness-low-ness in his life right before God working in a mighty way.
Helps me to know the others (A. Judson, H. Taylor, David) who felt-walk-through the heavy dark times as well.
Selah– pause, praise, hang on, lift up, value…
Can't even begin to tell you how much Chps. 2 & 3 in The Gospel Centered Woman lifted my heart last night… “you and I have adequate, sufficient supplies for this season…we have a bridge between our godly longing and our fallen reality that sufficiently equips us to deal with each struggle” (37).
Amen, Kara. I am so glad those chapters encouraged you. I need to go back and re-read them myself. 🙂
Yesterday the words came out of my mouth, “There's no hope this situation will ever change,” regarding years on end of blatant rejection from an extended family member. This morning I read Zeph. 3:14 which begins and ends with the word daughter. God calmed my heart and reminded me that this is what he calls me.
Sat down next at the computer, it binged, across came this blog and cemented the deal.
I am reminded today that trusting in God is not just about the really low points, the “I am absolutely unable to change on this on my own” points, but about everyday in the trenches of motherhood moments – Those days (and seasons) when I am exhausted, and well beyond my touch-capacity, when I have been around these four on my own for too long while my husband travels. The world says: “take yourself out for a mani/pedi”, “get a maid”, “eat some chocolate”. The Word says: “My grace is enough”
I cannot stand when people say: “I am a better mommy when I [insert self-indulging activity of choice]. Sure, those might help a little, but I find their benefits very short-lived. What we really need to be telling ourselves is “I am better mommy when I press into Christ. He is enough, his riches are far greater than my need, and HE IS FAITHFUL! AMEN!”
thank you as always, Wendy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4EyMZkYDKs&feature=related
I am a doer. I, too, struggle with the notion I need to do something to fix things, to DO something. I welcome every reminder to be still, be patient, trust God, to wait. Thank you.
Thanks for these comments, all! Pia, I am praying right now for healing in your relationship with this family member. Sara, that is a good word about motherhood. Thanks for adding that.
I also needed this today. Thank you, Wendy, for continuing to be vulnerable, sharing your honest struggles, and then pointing to the One who can help. I so need to know I am not alone.
Amen. Amen. Amen. And again I say Amen. LOVE you.
“Whatever long term issue you are struggling with now, be still, and know that He is God.” Thank you, Wendy. I have been struggling for what seems like a long time with various aspects of the fallout from an unwanted divorce in late 2011 and her remarriage in late 2012 — the current effects on me, the two children who live elsewhere, the child who lives with her but frets about whether she should stay, and the child who lives with me; and the permanent effects on all of us as well. The last 6 months have been the worst due to the addition of extreme financial pressures. I needed this encouragement in this seemingly endless, frustrating season.
Also, Wendy, I'm forwarding this post to a friend who e-mailed yesterday about her continuing struggles (finances, job, etc.) that are the fallout of her own unwanted divorce. I think your words will encourage her as well.
David, thanks for sharing. May God give you and your friend sweet refreshment and respite in the midst of this long, brutal season.
Thank you for sharing. I'm in a season right now where I feel I need to be the “strong one” in my family. This was a great reminder that I DON'T have to. God is big enough to be our Strong One. He's far better at it than I am anyway. I can just lean and be still.
Oh I needed this! Thank you, Thank you.
I am not one to typically add my voice to the fray so to speak, however I must say that this was indeed a timely message and I am thankful to have found your blog.
Coming out of an extended black hole these past 4 years, Feeling exhausted, dry, empty, dead, “Can't pull another hat out of the rabbit even if you tortured me feeling”, wondered where God went, my prayers screamed against the glass ceiling, feeling abandoned, puzzled, and hopeless……………yet some core of me is 100% convinced that God has not left me. A very strange experience as I feel this core is solid and NOTHING will ever shatter it again.
Of everything that I do, over and over I realize I cannot create hope in me. God spoke for the first time in 5 years through a chance book “When I Don't Desire God” and then fell silent again.
A mustard seed fell, I did not perceive it…………………..
it cracked within my hopelessness, I did not perceive it…………
it drank the torrents of my repentance, I did not perceive it…..
it germinated in the warmth of His all encompassing love, I received it.
That's really beautiful, anonymous.
Very comforting post, Wendy. Thanks you. Kay
This was so encouraging to me this evening as I lay in bed with an anxious heart. The replies were comforting as well. Our Lord God is so faithful in His love for us, and how He pursues our hearts. thankyou.
This is a very big encouragement! I thank God for giving us all forms of fellowship! I have a BIG family feud going on around me right now, and let me tell you, God has given me the name which means “Strong Rejoicing,” and He has over the years focused on the “Strong” part, and showing me that my strength is found in Him rather than in myself. Right now He is STRONGLY reminding me that I am to “Rejoice in the LORD ALWAYS, (and again I will say, rejoice)!” I am truly grateful for these trials which come, and then our amazing Abba Father shows us exactly what we need to know to grow from the situation! Thank you for being willing to share this piece with us. Valerie Joyce
Thank you. I stumbled across your blog the other day. The Lord knew I needed this particular article right here and right now in one of my darkest of trials. I too have been trying to DO, to FIX, but not to wait. When the waiting gets more than I can bear, He will show up. He must. Thank you.