February Recap: A Forced Stillness

Hey there, friends!

What a month. I hope and pray you weathered the winter storms well. John and I were disheartened to hear of so many stories of loss and hardship, and yet encouraged to see our community of Texans rise up to meet the needs of neighbors, and even strangers.

While home and (like many of you) trying to stay warm, I kept reflecting on the stillness around me. The house was quiet (except for Gigi, of course). The snow was serene (from a distance). Everything, for a moment, was… still.

And in this I was reminded that stillness is critical to our relationship with God. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Read that again. How do we know God? We are to be still.

Or in other words, we cease striving.

Striving is what our flesh does; but stillness is what our soul craves— and God knows it. He knows it’s critical for us to be still in his presence; spending intentional time listening to Him in His Word, because that’s the way we come to truly know our God. In fact, if we, God’s children, don’t learn to quiet ourselves and get still in his presence, he’ll force a stillness on us… kind of like a Holy Time Out.

Look at this passage from Job 37—

God thunders with his voice in marvelous ways;

he does great things beyond our understanding.

For to the snow he says, ‘Fall to earth,’

and to the torrential rains, ‘Pour down.’

He causes everyone to stop working, so that all people may know his work.

Job 37:5-7, NET

In the snowfall, and the downpour of the rain…God forces a stillness on us by God’s design so that we may know Him, and consider His ways, be awed by His wonders…and in so doing, we cultivate intimacy with the Almighty.

Not all stillness is pleasant, or easy, or comfortable. God forced a stillness on me 11 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Was it hard? Yes. Did it hurt? Yes. Was it confusing? In many respects, yes. Was there loss? Absolutely.

But there was also great gain. Once I surrendered to the fact that in this life I will not be given all the answers, I became more settled in my spirit that God Almighty had me in His all-mighty grip. I do not know the mysterious and sovereign ways of my God, but being still in His presence caused me to know Him better; it sharpened my focus on the right things, and gave me a clearer perspective on my life and how to live it going forward. As I often say, breast cancer was one of those beautiful gifts that came wrapped in ugly paper. What I learned in that season of stillness was invaluable; the kindness of my Savior was palpable, and I gained strength in my faith as my love for Him deepened.

My challenge to you in March is to create the space, make the time and take the time to:

Be still (cease striving, push away the distractions),

and know (get to know Him intimately, by experience),

that I am God (know who He is, and that He is everything).

I love y’all dearly, and thank you so much for doing life with me. It’s an honor and a whole lotta fun to serve you in Jesus’ name. Don’t you forget that you are greatly and dearly loved by The King!

xo – P ♥️