Be silent before the LORD and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated… (Psalm 37:7)
Do not be agitated…don’t do it…don’t go there…just wait…Be silent…Be still…
Take a deep breath. Close the door. Block out everything…block out everything but HIM.
There is so much going on right now. There are mounds of responsibilities, loads of worries, so many times I feel at odds with others. Silence and stillness is NOT my first response. My first response is usually in my head. My mind starts racing and rambling with up to the minute playbacks, data analysis, and response stratagizing.
Some agitation is good, right? I mean, life is full of conflict. This breaks up apathy, it stirs up experience and understanding, it expands our files of responses and preparedness. It builds patience and endurance. This is good. This is healthy. It can also cause division and tear down relationships, but unhealthy or polluted relationships have to be cleaned out, and this is where conflict is a neccessity. Even more neccesary is healthy resolution. I don’t like conflict, but I do like listening and talking things out to build up a relationship, and I know a good relationship will become stronger through the proocess of conflict resolution.
So, why do I get so agitated when a conflict arises?
Agitation is the feeling or appearance of being troubled or nervous. In some translations of the Bible words like fret, whine, and agonize are used instead of agitated. If we read on in Psalm 37 and read the rest of verse 7 and verse 8 we see that it is the why and the what of agitation that gets us into trouble. Am I agitated because I am comparing myself to others? Am I judging others? Am I allowing this to make me angry and respond unrighteously?
Be silent before the LORD and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans. Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated – it can only bring harm.
It’s hard! I naturally want to have the last word and feel vindicated when I know I am right. But this would be the part where I need to be still; this is where I am still learning to be silent before the LORD and wait expectantly for Him instead of running foolishly through the deception, lies, and misunderstandings I may have flowing through my head.
I have been building a set animal out of paper mache for our VBS week with a very creative and talented woman from the church. She has a lot more experience in this art, and I have been learning a great deal through her tutelage. I had always used a flour and water paste for paper mache projects. For the size of this project I was expecting to go through a very large bag of flour to make the many batches of paste I knew this project would require and I was interested in seeing how she would cover the dusty, aged finish this paste leaves behind. But she introduced me to a new paste which doesn’t require so much of it being applied to the paper strips, can be saved in a sealed container for other projects, and has a completely clear, satiny finish. I quickly learned that this paste takes more time to prepare, however. It comes as a powder which has to be combined with water. The first time I was given this chore, she had me pour this powder into a bucket of water and told me to agitate it as much as I could for a few minutes. I sat agitating the mixture and feeling frustrated for many minutes because I couldn’t get it to combine completely. When she came to check on me I found out this is normal. We had to place a cover over the clumpy mixture and set it aside to rest after agitating it. The next day the paste was smooth and ready to be used to build up and form our animal character.
This is how it is with me. I get agitated, but it is when I stop and wait expectantly on the LORD instead of continuing to be agitated that I am then ready for Him to change me, to use me. That is when He builds my character. That is when He shows me His will. I am not finished, gratefully so, but I am being finished a little more all the time. I’m really excited to see myself as He sees me. I want to know myself as He knows me. I want to be molded by my Creator rather than torn down by this world and the Prince of Lies. True conflict resolution comes from God, and He will begin with me. In your conflicts, He will begin with you. When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)
Father God, may we always stop and commit our ways to You, trust in You completely, and know You will act upon our faith and obedience with pleasure. May we be still and be silent in Your presence and rest. For Your glory and majesty is perfect and Your excellent plans are beyond our comprehension. We can trust in your unending faithfulness, Your promises, and Your unconditional love. Thank you, Lord. Amen.