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Have You Forgotten? Be Still!

July 30, 2012

I’ve been working on a book manuscript for the last two years. Like many Christian writers, I feel God has placed the words upon my heart; but more importantly, He is using the experience to refine me. My manuscript is based on Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” For some readers, writing a book for two years without being published may seem like a long time. It is. (Believe me, it is!) But with writing comes lots of rewriting, revision, and more rewriting. And lots of learning. Lots of lots of learning and growing. (Thanks, God.)

I love what fellow writer and blogger Beth Vogt says in her post “In Other Words: Tomorrow.” Are unpublished manuscripts wasted words? No, they are “waiting to be published words.”

Nothing God does is wasted.

Nothing God does through you will be wasted.

As God refines me over time, so is my manuscript being refined as I learn more about who He is, as I grow more in my relationship with Him, as I learn to love God and others more and more.

God is giving me opportunities to be still before Him, and I think He gives all of us those times when He desires for us to come to Him.

I read over a portion of my manuscript this weekend. It read:

Recently, I learned that a family member lost his job, a friend lost her only child, an elderly neighbor struggles for his life in the ICU with no family to care for him, and other friends have lost their homes to foreclosure. There are countless other stories that can trouble you daily, not to mention the headlines of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, famines, wars, disease, and poverty. We live in difficult, turbulent times, and we are all facing mighty giants, whether financial, emotional, physical, or all of the above.

 

As I read I realized that the message of Psalm 46:10 is eternal and timeless—it wasn’t only appropriate during the year I typed out the words. We all need to be still and know that God is God no matter when we live, where we live, or what is going on in the world.

It seems there have been even more tragedies since I wrote that sentence two years ago. Most recently, wildfires have practically devastated the state of Colorado. Dozens of families are mourning the death and severe injuries of loved ones who only wanted to watch a midnight movie. The country is being torn apart, not only by the campaigns of two Presidential candidates, but also by the public controversy of a man who makes really good chicken sandwiches who answered a question by stating his personal opinion.

I’m reminded that we still need to “Be still and know that I am God.”

What do we do in times of tragedy, devastation, death, injury, injustice, and national disputes?

Do we adhere to the command of Psalm 46:10? Do we become still and turn to God, knowing that He alone is God?

Or do we immediately post to Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media outlets to spout our opinion and outrage?

Do we instantly argue our position with friends, neighbors, and blog readers?

Do we constantly turn to Fox News or CNN and allow the media to fill our lives with dramatic details, psychological analysis, and legal expositions?

Why don’t we immediately turn to God?

Why don’t we instantly become still?

Why don’t we constantly turn to the Truth of the Word?

This world is full of sin. Men make bad (even evil) choices. There will always be tragedies, natural disasters, and people at war over oil, politics, or personal opinions.

But how we handle it makes the difference, for the world and also within our own hearts.

I challenge you to respond to whatever hardship comes your way, not with anger, argument, or some antagonistic response … but with stillness.

We can’t know how God desires for us to respond, what His will is, what His purpose for us is without going before Him in quietness and solitude so we can listen—really listen—to Him and only Him. Not what others say on Facebook or Twitter or Headline News. But listen to God. And then  let God speak to you about what to do … about talking to others, defending your position, posting to Facebook, reading a blog post, taking action …

Let your first response be what God desires:
“Be still and know that I am God.”

Photo by Keith Riley-Whittingham (cc)

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©2011- 2012 Christi McGuire. All Rights Reserved.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2012 12:01 pm

    Beautifl Words and thoughts, Christi
    Be still and know is my favorite verse in the Bible
    I was given a plaque of the verse for a birthday present from my niece
    I often grab for that verse daily, hourly and sometimes minute by minute
    Learning to trust God is my fervant wish but I am still learning to be content
    God bless – I will start the prayers for your book and God’s will for the process

    • July 30, 2012 1:04 pm

      Oh Susie, what a blessing it would be to have prayer for the book and the process! I’m learning it’s all in God’s timing. And He’s teaching me so much by making me “wait” on Him! 🙂

      • July 30, 2012 2:03 pm

        Yes, He surely has a way to let us know who is in control but would we want it any other way?
        Prayers started
        God bless

        • August 2, 2012 10:03 pm

          Thanks again, Susie! Maybe you would be willing to be a manuscript reader and give me feedback when the time comes?

          • August 3, 2012 9:23 am

            I would love to be a manuscript reader
            I am honored you would think of me
            God Bless

          • August 3, 2012 9:47 am

            That would be great! I would appreciate your perspective! It won’t be for a while, but I’ll let you know!!

          • August 3, 2012 9:50 am

            Anytime Christi – thanks so much

  2. July 30, 2012 3:24 pm

    This post is perfectly timed. In a recent effort to create more stillness in my life, I’ve committed to starting a meditation practice, and I just finished my last workshop class on Friday. When I was younger, I looked at meditation as a bit of an “out there” practice, but as I get older I’ve realized the value of a still mind. Carving out time to be still each day is difficult, but I’ve already realized the effects of a more peaceful mind. Thanks for sharing this post!

    P.S. I really hope I used the right effects (affects?) in that second to last sentence.

    • August 2, 2012 10:02 pm

      I agree with what you said about getting older and realizing the value of a still mind. I’m finding that out, too! Especially in today’s time where everything is rushed and technology is buzzing all around us. I’d be interested in hearing more of what you learned in your worship. Maybe you would write a guest post about it? I’ve been dedicated the last few months to getting up early and having quiet time in the morning. I’m out of my routine with it being summer, and my whole life seems out of sync when I don’t have my quiet time.
      P.S. You used “effects” correctly! 🙂

  3. August 5, 2012 9:47 pm

    Thoughtful and well spoken…thank you!

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