Life is filled with wonderful things, difficult times, and often a busyness that knows no end. God is always faithful and good through it all. And every breath truly is a gift. But sometimes we have to press pause and take stock. For me, I’ve decided to do this at least 4 times every year. This may sound crazy, but I have to schedule these times in Sharpie (both with pen and paper & digitally) and be intentional to “be still and know.”
4. Be Still and Know
One of my Christian music heroes is Steven Curtis Chapman. I love everything he produces. But one song in particular flows from my own heart: Be Still and Know. Steven says, “He is God, He is for you, and He’s with you, and He’s in control.” Isn’t that just what a tired or burdened soul needs to hear? I encourage you to watch the video below. (Also, how have I never seen this version before? Ellie Holcomb sings harmony. That’s like the best combo ever. Chills, y’all. Chills.)
If you’ve kept up with my blog this year you’ll remember that I snuck away from Dallas to enjoy a weekend of restoration in Waco. Why Waco? Read more about that here. I listed several benefits of rest and margin in that post. This was easily the best decision to start my year.
One of the best books I read in 2016 was Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Dr. Richard A. Swenson. Not to be selfish, but this book was written for me. How did Dr. Swenson know my life so well? Probably because I’m not the only one who experiences life this way. This post wasn’t meant to be a book review, although I want to write up a more official one because I loved this book so much. (I’ll add it to my future posting list once this 30 Before 30 series is complete.)
Another resource that has impacted my life to help me make time to be still and know is Do More Better by Tim Challies. He describes the benefit of this book: “It will help you learn to structure your life to do the most good to the glory of God…. It really is possible to live a calm and orderly life, sure of your responsibilities and confident in your progress.” I’ll take some of that please.
While I haven’t finished this one, another great book is What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman.
Getting away all the time is impossible and impractical. I discovered a solution to this dilemma. Apart from a prayer closet, this is the next best thing for me. Have you considered the stars at night? A few of my friends call it star therapy. “Always be grateful to the Giver of every good gift. He knows what’s best for me. Even seasons of organized chaos.”
Leadership expert Michael Hyatt shares on his blog about getting away and focusing on what matters. “I learned from the experience the importance of getting away from it all and unplugging to reboot my soul…. I urge you to take time, unplug, really get away from it all and have an adventure. It will rejuvenate you, and you’ll come back stronger than ever.”
All of these resources are wonderful tools, but there’s one that communicates with ultimate authority:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11 ESV
Be still and know that He is God.