Be Still, and know
“Be Still, and Know”
by Lauren Benson
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
– Luke 5:16 (NIV)
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I find it deeply comforting that even Jesus found purposeful withdrawal necessary. Time spent away from others to nourish his soul, away from the conflicting wants and needs of the world. Time spent breathing with the Abba, feeding himself to the very marrow of his bones. If Jesus — God made flesh — needed this time set apart, how much more do we mere mortals need it?
Perhaps, like me, you too forget the weight of time spent in the world, a slow acclimation to its disquieting nuances, absorbing its clatter, each particle of dust digging into cracked pores …. leaving your soul blindly bogged down by grime, clinging to every square inch of skin, under fingernails, filling nostrils, clouding vision, choking lungs. You might find yourself repeatedly drifting away from a place of wholeness in Christ, tugged and pulled by the needs of others, the “needs” of the flesh: chauffeuring children to dance classes, compiling grocery lists, battling traffic, physical and mental fatigue piled high atop a mountain of “must do’s” and “have to’s” –
Until you find yourself wandering around like a half-starved Israelite in the desert, in need of saving.
This is the place I find myself, time and again. It is here I am forced to stop and re-evaluate my need for more – my need for more of less. I am forced to acknowledge my broken state, forced into stillness, where a desire for healing and rest cries out above the clatter. I clamor for stillness. I realize here that I no longer want my brokenness to define me or guide my actions. I want a clean slate. I want to know peace again.
This seems an impossibly tall order in light of all the hardened grime. Thankfully, Jesus.
And then the first plish-patter of rain in the desert. Can you hear it? Distant rumblings of comforting thunder, a gentle fold in the air as sky releases the long-awaited whetting of a parched and cracked heart. Flesh yields and accepts the cool wash of water, pouring steadily now, the soul drinking it in.
All Jesus needs, in order to accomplish this miraculous task of washing anew that which is crumbling and disintegrating into the dust of the earth, is a willing blob of clay.
Clay. Where dust meets water, the two intermingling, becoming malleable.
My Abba, I retreat to you today, withdrawing from enemy forces, surrendering at your feet my flesh-tethered spirit. I draw nearer to your place of inner solitude, to your sanctuary, the deepest center of your holiness, sitting in silence, conversing with you, partnering with you, obeying you. Here I am, Lord. Mold me.
Do you at times find yourself weary from “human doing”, rather than “human being”?
Do you turn to Jesus in times like these?
“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, Oh God.” (Psalm 42:1b, NLT)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11:28-29
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’.” – Psalm 46:10
Faith in Action:
This coming week, purposefully set aside a quiet time, apart from the daily chaos, to “be still and know”. Prayerfully consider what that means to you, asking God to reveal himself to you in a deep and meaningful way.
Lauren is a Tennessee-born wife, mother, knitter, fiber artist, Anglophile, music lover, writer, and Christ-led believer with a passion for grace, and the gentle quest for authenticity in this big beautiful world of ours. She’s a total foodie, art history geek, and biography reader with an insatiable wanderlust coursing through her veins. You can connect with Lauren via her photography business, http://www.laurenbee.com , or her personal blog, Vivo est precor .