"Be still, or your piggie-tails will be crooked!"
"I can't! I just can't be still!"
This is an argument that Ladybug and I have at least once a week, if not more. She loves to wear her hair in pig-tails, but just as much hates having to be still for the process. I can't even imagine what we would have to endure if I could actually braid hair. Ladybug is an active four-and-a-half-year-old, and some part of her body is moving from the time she truly wakes up in the morning, until some point after we've tucked her in bed for the night. She lives by this constant motion, and I believe she thinks she thrives by it. To be still means to be missing out on something or not doing something that she is certain that she needs to do, even if it's just waving her arms as she sings a song she's making up in her head as she goes.
Isn't that us? Isn't that our lives as adults in this fast-paced world, but with God telling us,
“Be still, and know that I am God.Like Ladybug tells me that she just can't be still, we tell God that, don't we? "I just can't stop and take the time to spend in prayer and reading your Word today, God. I've got to get the kid to school, pick up the dry-cleaning, get groceries, pick the kid back up from school, take her to after school activities." I know I caught myself doing just in the last week. I just kept getting distracted and never sat still long enough really dive into my Bible as I know that I need and crave to do.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” - Psalms 46:10
The second part of that conversation that Ladybug and I have is this, "Actually you CAN be still, you just don't want to. Telling me that you can't is a lie. You can make yourself be still. I'm not asking you to stay still forever, just for a little while."
It's a lie when we tell ourselves, anyone else, and especially God that we don't have time for Him. We don't have time to read our Bibles. We don't have time to pray. We must MAKE the time. I mean, how can we not make the time to spend with the God who gifted us with the very breath in our lungs each and every single day?
I happened (not a coincidence, I'm sure) to be reading that passage of Psalms at the same time I was reading in The Gospel of Mark where Jesus calmed the storm (Mark 4:35-41), and it occurred to me that when Jesus yelled, "Peace! Be still!" he wasn't just commanding the wind and the sea. He was also commanding the disciples, who were scared that they were going to die in the storm. I can only imagine the chaos going on in that boat, while Jesus was trying to get a little rest. Surely they should have known that everyone drowning in the sea was not a part of God's overall plan, and that they would be safe, but they didn't. They were consumed with their own personal needs at that moment, just as we are often consumed by our busyness.
This thought leads me to think of another argument Ladybug and I have been having lately when we tell her to do something, and she gives us the excuse of, "I didn't hear you," when we admonish her for not doing as she was told. Again, I'll tell her, "If you would be still and quiet, you would be able to listen and hear what I'm telling you to do."
How are we ever to know what God wants us to do if we never be still, if we're never quiet. After all, like we taught our kids in Sunday school this past week,
"At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper." - 1 Kings 19:11-12You can't hear a whisper if you won't be still and quiet. All of the chaos of like will consume you. I can't hear a whisper if I'm not still and paying attention, I know for a fact. When Ladybug was little, she spoke so softly and quietly (she's gotten over that now) that we couldn't hear what she had to say unless we deliberately stopped what we were doing and listened to her. If we didn't, we missed what she was telling us, and she would get upset. We got even better results when we would take the time to get on her level to hear her.
We're always going to be like the disciples on the boat, sinking in the sea, just barely above water if we don't take the time to be still, stop all the chatter, be quiet, and reach to God in His word and through prayer. We CAN be still, and we CAN be quiet. He WILL speak, and we WILL hear Him if we seek Him with eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand. Perhaps, I'll remember these things myself.