We've all heard it and taken this little nugget to be sage wisdom. Life gets hard and throws us a curve ball and only the weak would sit down on the job while there is work to be done. The tough will get to work and do whatever is necessary to get going through the tough stuff.
When it comes to tough times, we all have a story tucked in our back pocket. At some point, we all will be hit with financial strain, a health struggle, a heartbreaking loss, or perhaps a crisis of faith. Nobody gets through this life unscathed.
I'm going to be very real with you right now and confess that my family is going through a hard time. I'm not talking about a "we can't decide where to take our vacation" kind of hard time, but the kind that has prompted us to recruit an army of prayer warriors to appeal at the throne of the King on our behalf.
I can't tell you how many times I have collapsed into bed at night and found myself with tears streaming down my cheeks out of sheer frustration. Through the sobs I have implored my husband to "just tell me what to do" and help me "figure out how to fix it." Of course, all he can do is hold me, kiss the top of my head, and remind me to pray.
Am I alone in feeling like praying just doesn't seem like enough sometimes?
This just in: I like to be in control. (shocking, I know.) In my foolish pride, I fight tooth and nail against God to snatch the steering wheel right out his hands and take over. Lately, my prayers have resembled something like this:
Father, I am at a loss here. I have absolutely no clue what to do in this situation and it is breaking my heart as I know it is breaking yours. I want to move, to plan, to work to solve the problem and make everything ok. Help me to understand that I simply can't do it. Give me the strength I need to let it go, to really let it go and give it up to you. Open my heart so I can be receptive to your will and quench my pride so I can stop trying to do your job. This is so hard for me. Please lead me to what you're trying to teach me.
Now, my train of thought is about to get a little wild here, so stay with me. On Black Friday, Dayspring had a really great sale where you could get pretty much everything for 30% off so I did something really naughty and bought a gift....for myself. Before Christmas.
When my new Lisa Leonard bracelet arrived, I put it on my wrist and I knew God was answering my prayer.
"Be still and know that I am God."
Let's break this down, shall we?
As I'm sure you've figured out by now, I have a little trouble with being STILL. I write a To Do List every single day. My calendar is color coded. I live according to a plan. If something isn't happening right now, I convince myself that it isn't going to happen....like, ever. Heck, you should see me watch Packers games. I can pace a trench in the living room floor if things go down to the wire.
The whole time this difficult situation has been materializing, I have been pacing back and forth, brooding over what I should do, what action to take, what wisdom to impart, what magic words to say. Too terrified to step out in one direction or another, I have toiled away like someone running at a dead sprint on a treadmill, burning out but never getting anywhere.
And as soon as the bracelet hit my wrist, I heard a soft whisper remind me to just.....be still.
Stop. Stop running. Stop brooding. Stop fretting over how I am going to fix this. Understand that the solution will not and cannot come from me. Be still. Be quiet.
Don't think. Don't be pretty sure. Don't be fairly convinced. KNOW. Trust. Believe. Not just a little bit, but with my whole heart. I need to give it all up and know with all that I am that He is sovereign, that He is King, that he has a plan for this little predicament that involves a resolution with eternal consequences. His answer might make no sense to me whatsoever, but I still need to know WHO HE IS.
There is no room for doubt or worry. No need for uncertainty or fear. I can just know.
He is GOD.
Who is God? He is. Am I God? Nope. Was I there when the stars were placed in the sky? Uh uh. Did I breathe the earth into existance? Um.....no. The exact same magnificent power who made the heavens and the earth is the one who hurts when I hurt. He is Lord of the universe, creator of all things, Lord of Lord, and King of Kings. He is on his throne, He is in control, and He will see us through this.
And so I will. I will glance at my beautiful reminder circling my wrist and remember to "be still and know." He loves me, he loves her, he loves everyone involved in this troubled situation. He knows what's up and I can know that he's got it all under control.
(Of course, since I am a crazy control freak Type A psychopath, I'm going to have to rest pretty heavily on his grace while I try to really get this truth ingrained on my heart. Baby steps.)
Do you struggle to just be still? I find it especially hard to just shut my mind off and listen for God to speak. How do you find success? Any one else out there have control issues?
P.S. For the sake of privacy, I purposely left the details of the tough stuff pretty vague, but if your prayer list is a little light at the moment, I would be thrilled if you would add us on. Pray for the strength to be honest, wisdom, reconciliation, health, and healed relationships. Pray that I would be able to speak truth in love.
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!