Sunday, June 8, 2014

Inspired...

     She was laying down on the floor in front of the altar at the start of the worship service. She was so still for so long that we wondered if she was breathing. At her age, it was possible that something had gone wrong. Do we walk up, kneel beside her and check for a pulse? Or would that make a scene? What if she was really worshiping and not having a medical problem? She was just so still...and she wasn't quite kneeling or bowing...she was laying down.

     I sat down in my seat and began to pray for the woman just in case she wasn't well. I figured she must have started out down there worshiping so I asked God if she was well, to bless her time spent there at the altar with Him. My husband decided to quietly walk up and ask one of the Pastors if the woman on the floor was okay. He explained our concerns. The Pastor assured him that she was fine.  A few minutes later the woman got up and moved to the floor in front of the first row of chairs and knelt there worshiping.

     She captured my attention in those moments. What she did was beautiful. She had lost track of all that surrounded her and was clearly enjoying the presence of her Savior. More than a few times I couldn't help but glance her way. Once, I saw her jumping up and down and clapping to the verse of a song we were singing. It was the verse that spoke about Christ returning. How precious to see her joy at the thought of His return. She was so full of it she couldn't be still!

     I spoke to her after church and told her how incredibly blessed I was by her obedience to worship God in the way that He had moved on her heart to. Tears came to her eyes as she quickly gave God the glory and spoke about how she just wants to be where He wants her to be and to do what it is He wants her to do. I don't know how old she is, but she is elderly. During my conversation with her I just kept thinking I hope I am like her when I am her age!

     I hope that if I live long enough to be considered old, that I am as full of God's love and life as she is! I don't want to spend my days in later years sitting around waiting to go to heaven. I want to be like her...manifesting heaven on earth, living for the glory of God, eager to joyfully serve, and quick to bow before Him.  I have been inspired!

    

Friday, June 6, 2014

Still...

     It's hard to be still...for some of us more than others I suspect! I am not referring to sitting still or an absence of physical activity. I am talking about being inwardly still. When was the last time your mind was still? When was the last time your soul was still? Do you remember what that felt like? What did you gain by being still?

     Being still is usually not a problem for me. However, these past few weeks I have been having a hard time with it. My mind wanders to what must be done not only now but in a few weeks or months from now. Sometimes I find it wandering to pieces of conversations I have had with my husband about his ongoing job search. I end up researching areas of interest to him. For example, if he has spotted a job he can apply for in Lancaster, Pennsylvania then I must learn all I can about Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (This is just an example he has not applied in Lancaster, Pa!)

     Last week my mind was wandering between many different things. It wandered between the end of the school year things that I had to finish up for the kids, summer trips, watching my niece in July, finding a new piano teacher in the fall, and the job search.  One night I laid in bed praying about how overwhelmed I felt, and that no matter how hard I tried to be still I couldn't. I was so frustrated! During the night I had a dream. It wasn't anything spectacular, but it was God's way of getting my attention. In the dream I was a little girl in the church that I grew up in. I was sitting on the floor in a Sunday school classroom making something that was needed for VBS. While I was busy crafting I was humming the hymn "Be Still My Soul".  I woke up from my dream and tried really hard to remember the words to that hymn but I couldn't. Thankfully I have an old hymnal and was able to look it up. Here are some of the words: "Be still, my soul the Lord is on thy side! Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide. In every change He faithful will remain.  Be still, my soul thy best, thy heavenly Friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Be still my soul, thy God doth undertake to guide thy future as He has the past; Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake. All mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul. The waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below."

     It brought tears to my eyes when I read it. Sometimes the only one who can still your soul is your Savior. He knows what words and what ways are necessary to get to the root of the issue. My mind wandering was the symptom of a larger issue. The larger issue was that while I was not worried about the future, I was caught up in wondering about the future. How will I get all these things done? How will watching my one year old niece for four days straight work out? What if I don't, who will they get to take care of her?  Should I start searching for a piano teacher now or wait until the fall? What if a future job means a relocation, then I may want to wait on the piano teacher? What kind of job might God have for my husband? When will He lead us to it and how will we know? Wondering made my mind wander.  In all of my wondering I was unable to be still because I forgot that all of those questions have one answer...God. God knows. "Leave to thy God to order and provide." The future may bring change but God doesn't change. "In every change He faithful will remain." He will lead us in the future just as He has in the past."Thy God doth undertake to guide thy future as He has the past."
      Sometimes we do ourselves more harm than good by trying to figure things out, or even in just letting our anticipation and curiosity get the best of us! If you are struggling to be still I want to encourage you to go to God and ask Him for help. When we are still our souls are at rest. There is no sense of urgency to get it all done or to figure it all out. Being still is simply letting go and letting God order our days, walking with Him hand in hand wherever He decides to lead us. Being still is relying on His strength and His leading to do what it is He wants us to do, whether it's the every day things or future things. Being still is to remember "The waves and winds still know His voice."