I am a doer…a shaker…a mover. It is easier for me to “do”, than to “sit” in what I am doing. I am task oriented. I think many of us are. So, when God calls me to be still, it is a difficult assignment. I wait anxiously for my next assignment. “What are we going to do next God?” I ask a lot and am dismayed when I get nothing but silence, or even worse, “be still”. I am uncomfortable in the silence, alone with my thoughts and the fear that I have lost my connection with my Maker. But it is God who brings me to this place.
He has many ways of bringing me to stillness. He has been known to allow me to drive myself into a frenzy, then let the spinning plates fall willy nilly, revealing to me how little control I really had. I have been forced into stillness by my sheer inability to press on thru the mess I have created. Face to face with God, I realize I have been operating in my own strength, on my own agenda. He is gracious to bring me to this place, although it doesn’t feel gracious at the time. It hurts. It is painful. But it is only when I am at the end of myself, that I reach out to Him. And He meets me there. And I experience Him in a way that I would have missed had I not been forced to stop. God is gracious to bring me the pain and discomfort that leads me back to Him.
God has a wonderful sense of humor. Lately, I have been brought to stillness by quite another approach. This time God has encouraged (forced) me to share the load. People have literally been stepping in and taking ministry from me. One friend took over the administrative part of our church’s bible club. Another took my volunteer position as mentor coordinator. That same friend is taking on the responsibility of bible club leadership. After that, God brought me to a job where I have time during the day to sit with Him and my thoughts , and to listen for His voice. As another friend put it, “Kelly, you are being paid to be still.” How gracious is that.
I briefly thought God was disappointed in me. I was being forced to let go of areas of ministry that fulfilled me. Ministry became my purpose. My relationship with God became secondary to what I thought I was doing for Him. You see, being still is not punishment. It is a gift. One friend prayed with me, then posted the following quote by Oswald Chambers on Facebook. “When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible— with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation. If God has given you a silence, then praise Him— He is bringing you into the mainstream of His purposes. The actual evidence of the answer in time is simply a matter of God’s sovereignty. Time is nothing to God.” – Oswald Chambers
Last night I went to a Christian concert with two of my daughters. I realized that somewhere along my “doing”, I lost my joy. That was not God’s plan for me. My works, that are not born out of my joy in Him, are futile. I love Him first. Then we, God and I, can “do” together, if that is His plan. And if His plan is for me to be still, I will do that with joy.