Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10 NASB
Has God ever told you to just be still and let Him do it, to cease striving? I love the thought, but when it actually comes down to it, I find the urge to “do something” hard to resist. I think am I programed, much like all Americans, that work or doing is the substance of life and that our value comes from what we do. We measure our success by how much we got done in a day or how many hours we work per week or what the bank balance says. Heaven’s economy doesn’t work like that. I do not think we’ll get to the end of life and be asked, “why didn’t you work more” or “why don’t you have a bigger bank account”.
I read a book recently called a Beautiful Life by Kerry Clarensau. One thing she said really resonated with me. She said, “At the end of our lives, the only thing that will matter is our relationship with God and our relationship with others.” That’s it. Nothing else can be taken with us.
It’s just a hard shift to make, to find our value in God and what he can do for us, not our works and our bank account. I think that’s why the Sabbath day rest commandment is so hard to keep, at least for me. It’s been engrained that rest equals laziness and that waiting is wasting time. Taking time to be still is an art form that our society lacks today.
I remember one sermon my husband preached a while back about being still. He told the congregation that we were going to be still and sit in silence for five minutes. You could have cut the tension with a knife. Silence makes people uncomfortable. Sitting makes us fidgety. Not two minutes went by and my husband couldn’t take it any longer, everyone was going crazy. It was a point well made. It’s against our human nature to be still, to be silent. And yet I think we miss the biggest blessings because we overlook this form of worship.
I am a worship leader at heart. Love, love, love worship!!! That being said, sometimes we forget that the most powerful, life changing, moments have come not in the middle of an awesome worship service, but in the still small voice that meets us in our prayer closet, in a quiet field as Moses heard, or the speaking to our hearts He often does when we do take time to be still.
I think it’s time to pray that God would renew the discipline of quietness in us. That he would help us to cease striving. He told us that his yoke was easy and his burden light in the book of Matthew. Striving makes us tired, but being still and letting God fight our battles, while against human nature, is where we will find true rest.
Lord, help us to quit striving and working so hard to accomplish things that you want to do for us. Help us when we are feeling stressed and frazzled to take inventory of our time and see if we have taken the time to rest and be still. Help us to know that it’s not laziness, but it’s commanded for our good. Oh, God, we love you and trust that you have our best interests at heart. Amen