If I said it once, I had said it a hundred times: “Rebekah, be still and go to sleep!”
At almost 18 months old, she was going through one of the most painful mysteries of toddlerhood: the appearance of eye teeth. It made her normally stubborn and willful temperament seem like a beautiful dream.
As I wrestled Rebekah to sleep that night, pleading with God for her to at least calm down, God gave me insight into what it must be like as our heavenly Father. As we go through the struggles of our lives, we tend to take charge, think we are in control. We tell God how we think it should go. We have our lists and our planners (with matching pens and sticky notes), charting out what went wrong and how to fix it.
Things don’t go how we want, of course, and we complain and thrash because the pain and stress are just too much to handle. We fight for all we are worth, losing sleep and rest, still thinking we can do it on our own.
Oh, we know all the verses. We know how to pray. And we quote those verses and we pray.
But nothing changes.
Then, God tries to get our attention.
“It hurts, though, Lord. I don’t know how to make it feel better.”
Be still, and you will know.
In the middle of what seemed like the whole evil world coming against them, God told Israel to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). In Exodus 14:13, Moses encouraged the people as they feared death was coming: “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.” Jesus told the dashing waves of the storm, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39).
There are times when being still can be dangerous. But in the stressful, chaotic, ever-changing patterns of our lives, God calls to us: “Be still.”
When Rebekah finally allowed herself to settle down and let me hold her, it wasn’t long before she was sound asleep. Peaceful. Exhausted but peaceful.
Listening to my heart, she found a place to rest.
May we all take time to slow down, be still, really focus on God…allow Him to be who He is and do what only He can do. Listen to His heart, dear one; He longs to hold you close.
Thank you, Father, for this sweet reminder amid the overwhelming pressures of my life. Grant me the wisdom to know when I should slow down and listen for your heart speaking to mine.
“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 (KJV)