Posted by: bellissimanh | August 27, 2009

In the Stillness

The gentle rocking of the boat was soothing to the soul. Although it was morning, there was a hush over the bay as we kayaked out to “Sea Glass Island” looking for treasure. Even the lobster boats were quiet, leaving us to our task.

It was so peaceful. I was focused on the rhythm of my paddles cutting through the water and enjoying the smooth glide of the kayak as it skimmed across the cove in Casco Bay. The sun was beating down, and it was HOT, but I didn’t care. The beauty of the bay and the tranquility of the moment were a balm for my spirit… a much needed respite from the stresses of everyday life.

And then it happened. About five feet in front of us, the surface was gently broken as a seal poked his head up out of the water. He stayed for a moment, and then disappeared, as quietly as he’d come. A couple of minutes later, he surfaced again just in front of Noah’s boat, a completely unexpected and wonderful surprise.  Delightful.

I’ve found that the Lord often comes to me in the stillness as well. It’s not that He’s not there all the time, just as that seal lives in the cove and is always swimming around under the surface of the water, because He is. Yet often in the chaos that is life, I don’t notice Him. At least not the same as I do in the quiet moments.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Such familiar words. I’ve always viewed them in terms of my own behavior… and they do apply that way. He commands me to be still — literally, to “cease striving” (and man… I could use me some of THAT!)

But today, I’m seeing it from a different perspective. Today, I’m seeing the promise. If I will be still, He will make Himself known to me. He will show Himself. He will give me a fresh glimpse of who He is. He is Almighty GOD – the Creator of the universe and the Maker of my heart. He is the Bridegroom — the Lover of my soul.  He is all of that and so much more. Delightful.

And this from Isaiah 30:15:

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 
       ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
       in quietness and trust is your strength…'”
(italics mine)

A great promise, no? Yet here’s the rest of that verse, the Lord’s words to Israel…

“…but you would have none of it.”

Oh, Lord… let that not be me!

Very few have come as close to understanding the importance of stillness better than Andrew Murray (1794-1866), and so I’d like to leave you with his words:

Therefore, beloved Christian, as often as you seek to understand better the blessed mystery of abiding in Christ, let this be your first thought (Ps.62:5, marg.): “My soul, only be silent unto God; for my expectation is from Him.” Do you in very deed hope to realize the wondrous union with the Heavenly Vine? Know that flesh and blood cannot reveal it unto you, but only the Father in heaven. “Cease from thine own wisdom.” You have but to bow in the confession of your own ignorance and impotence; the Father will delight to give you the teaching of the Holy Spirit. If but your ear be open, and your thoughts brought into subjection, and your heart prepared in silence to wait upon God, and to hear what He speaks, He will reveal to you His secrets. And one of the first secrets will be the deeper insight into the truth, that as you sink low before Him in nothingness and helplessness, in a silence and a stillness of soul that seeks to catch the faintest whisper of His love, teachings will come to you which you had never heard before for the rush and noise of your own thoughts and efforts. You shall learn how your great work is to listen, and hear, and believe what He promises; to watch and wait and see what He does; and then, in faith, and worship, and obedience, to yield yourself to His working who works in you mightily.

AMEN.

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Responses

  1. I’m not sure that I can add anything to that. It was so beautiful. I love the analogy of the seal and the presence of the Lord. Thanks, Heather, for a peaceful moment in the madness of the day.

    Leah

  2. So good!!!! God is indeed always there, we just need to let Him show Himself to us.

  3. Thanks for teaching me to breathe in the quietness


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