Six words. It was SIX words, and yet, months later, I can’t forget them. Those six words have been tossing around in my head as I truly received them as a word from the Lord in the middle of a Christian fiction novel.
First, I decided to spend a fair amount of time evaluating the word “still” and was disappointed to find that the word, in fact, means exactly what I learned in second grade. There are no fancy tricks of a word translation to make that word mean anything but exactly what it means. Being still requires me to stop. When I stop I feel every muscle cramp and I become aware of the stinging in my lungs from the race I am running at a ridiculous pace. When I stop running, everything hurts. So, I am not a fan of being still. I read these words in this fantastic book and I find myself in front of the dreaded blinking cursor, because I know that I am supposed to share this with you.
I was the kid that the teacher put in the hallway because it didn’t matter where they moved me, I would still talk to whomever would listen. I am also not a fan of quiet. When it is quiet, the voices of doubt and fear come close to overcoming me. So, I am not a fan of quiet either.
And so I run through life at a back breaking pace and never hear anything more than the sound of my own footsteps running, and never feel anything other than the pain from the punishment of the constant pounding pace. But that pain is better than what I will feel if I stop and stand still.
But God is calling me to be still. While I was certainly reminded of that in this book, there are copious amounts of songs written about it, and o yeah there is that one Bible verse:
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
That verse is underlined and highlighted in every Bible I have ever owned. Turns out I have been avoiding being still since about 1971. Some of us are just not wired to chill out, I am the president of that club. Enneagram 8 checking in for duty!
I often joke that I am going to sell everything and go sell t-shirts on the beach. I mentioned that to one of my employees one time who responded “you would find a way to make even that stressful”. I laughed and didn’t fire him, because he was not wrong. But his words served as a wake up call to me that my faith is so small in the midst of a giant redemption story where my God has performed a miracle in my life. Every breath I am afforded is a gift and I know that, but somehow, I just can’t be still. I must do, I must fix, I must run. I don’t deserve…
One year ago this month I was at Mayo Clinic as they tried to ascertain reasoning behind significant weight loss and loss of appetite. They found and fixed a few things, but for the most part they could not find a medical explanation for my severe lack of desire to eat or drink. As friends and family members continue to express concern, I am left to examine this issue and am painfully reminded that only I can take care of myself, no-one else can do it for me and no amount of performance will serve as a solution. At this point two separate doctors have expressed to me that my body is in fight or flight and therefore can not rest or digest. All of those words sound great in their alliterations and rhymes. Sounds simple enough: stop worrying, stop running. Chill out. Be still.
But then there is that pesky type A personality wiring again. And here we are, me, trying to figure out how to be still enough so that my body will actually want to perform a basic function, like processing food.
“God called her to be still…”
Could it be that my God is calling, begging, screaming over the pounding of my feet on the pavement to STOP, JUST STOP?
The answer is yes.
And because I am a slow learner, God has chosen to use significant pain in my life to demonstrate His power and His sovereignty. So much of what He has helped me overcome in this life came, I think, came from refusing to quit. But circumstances of late will not respond to my will to fight or my inability to wave the white flag. These circumstances are guaranteed to get worse, and I have tried to out run that fact. My body is responding reality. Regardless of my Enneagram type, I am beginning to realize that we are also not wired to run all the time.
My weak body is telling me: Be Still.
My fatigued heart is begging me: Be Still
My amazing God is calling me: Be Still
And if He called me to be still then He will be faithful to complete that calling in my life.
And so I stopped. I have just stopped.
And I know that He is God.