Tag Archive | be still

Dry Bones

Psalm 127:2 – It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep. (KJV) 

I am tired — weary from the inside out. My strength to push through is lost and I can’t conjure up the motivation to look for it. As my grandfather used to say “my get up and go got up and went”, a humorous description of a feeling that is totally devoid of humor.  I was worn ragged from ignoring my own physical condition and taking multiple road trips to help care for my sick mom. There I would spend days cooking, shopping, and cleaning only to make the long trek home to ….. cooking, shopping, and cleaning! My mom has regained her stamina but mine seems to be gone forever. When one set of needs are met there are always others calling to me, making me the center of a backward game of Marco Polo. I can definitely identify with those dry bones of Ezekiel 37:2 because I too am dry, disjointed, and lifeless. I am confused and overwhelmed, much more like the sheep in Matthew 9:36 than those of Psalm 23:2. I know that I need to spend time with God, but there are things that need to be done at church and that’s spending time with His house so that’s sort of like spending time with Him, isn’t it? I know that I need to feed on His word, but there are groceries to buy and meals to cook so others will be fed; besides I’ll mention some scripture in my prayer over the meal so that will be kind of like feeding on His Word, won’t it? Everyone can see how much I love God by my frantic running around even in my exhaustion, won’t they? I can almost hear the resounding “NO” coming from the heavens! In Psalm 46:10 God says to be still, but in my case I think He is shouting as a parent would to a child running into danger. “BE STILL from your busyness. BE STILL from your justifications. BE STILL from pleasing others at My expense.” Matthew 11:28 says “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” My translation: “Come here to Me. Put your heavy load down. Just catch your breath. I will take care of it if you will just let Me.” Ezekiel 37:2 tells of dry bones but verse 4 tells of bones coming back to life. Lord, I am tired of trying to please everyone in my own strength. Like Isaiah, I feel I have used all my strength for nothing (Isaiah 49:4). I want to lay down the burdens of busyness and rest in You.

Knowing and Believing and Scared and Worried

We have known and have believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. 1 John 4:16

 

I have a friend whose daughter recently had surgery. Doctors promised that after the surgery, she would be “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!” Maybe that’s not exactly what they said, but they did make grand promises and painted a picture of an outcome that would make the pain and physical therapy seem trivial. Those promises have proven to be as empty as Superman’s pod. The doctors are baffled at some of the things that have happened and have expressed their confusion during many consults and conversations.   But, no matter the variety of comments made during the various consults, each doctor always ended with “It will get better.” That is supposed to be encouraging, but better than it is now is still worse than it was! Her parents are strong believers in the Lord, but their spirits are dragging from seeing their child suffer. My friend is wiping her child’s tears as exercising therapy becomes excruciating torture, is cheering her child on as walking the steps feels more like climbing the mountain, facing each new day with a big smile while silently crying in her bedroom every night. Crying into her pillow and crying out to God. Someone once said, “The hardest part of being a parent is that you can’t stop the world from hurting your child. You can only be there to ease the pain.” But, she can’t ease the pain; she can only watch the pain. Watch and wonder and worry . John MacDuff reminds us that we need to “Trust God where you cannot see Him. Do not try to penetrate the cloud He brings over you; rather look to the bow that is on it. The mystery is God’s; the promise is yours.” My friend knows that this is just a season of their lives, a difficult and discouraging season but just a season. There are times when the dark night of discouragement tries to block the light of God’s promises. There are times when she feels the night will never end and begins to doubt the dawning of a better day. There are times when she feels alone, even as she clings to Jesus’ promise that He is always with us. There are times when we all have emotions that spin and tumble much like a child’s toy, but no matter what our emotions are telling us, Jesus tells us that He has control over the storm (Mark 4:37-40). As moms we worry about our children. We suffer when they are in pain. We smile so they will be encouraged and sob because we are so discouraged. We cry out “Lord, don’t You care?” Jesus says to us as He said to the storm in verse 39, “be still.” Sometimes we beg God not to be silent, but maybe He is silent so that we will be too. Like the disciples, we get scared and we want God to make the scary part go away. But, while we are busy being frantic and scared, He just wants us to be faithful and still. He wants us to feel His presence and know that His presence is enough. My friend is very strong – strong in her faith, strong in her parenting, and strong in her body and spirit. Lord, I ask You today to help her be strong in the knowledge that You are always with her.