“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7
In my current season of life, I find it very hard to find times where I am truly quiet. Usually, my kids are crying or playing, I’m cooking, music is playing or a tv show is on… I could go on. Basically, my life is loud, and because there’s so much noise in my day to day life, I’ve really been craving quiet spaces.
I find it interesting that even Jesus desired quiet. I imagine after a full day of teaching, answering His disciples’ questions, and healing people, He had to be exhausted. When Jesus reached that point, He knew how to get away. Throughout the gospels, there are regular passages that describe Jesus going off alone to a quiet place to pray (see Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35, Luke 11:1). He knew that time with the Father was the only thing that would satisfy His weary soul.
I wonder what would happen if we took note of what Jesus did and put it into practice ourselves. Psalm 37:7 commands us to be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him rather than worrying about what other people do. Isaiah 26:3 promises that God will “keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” When we take time to get really quiet and be with God, we can be filled with peace and learn to trust Him more.
If your life is like mine and you need some practical ways to find a moment of quiet in your day, here’s what’s working for me:
- Find your spot. On your bed after a long day is probably not the best spot, because if you’re like me, you will fall asleep in five minutes flat. Choose a comfortable spot where you can sit. Even if it’s cold, I love sitting on my front porch because it means I’m getting fresh air and a change of scenery. When I’m inside, I love to sit in my cozy living room chair.
- Remove distraction. Put your phone on silent in another room. Your Apple watch too. Move away from the dishes, laundry, or whatever is going to distract you from simply being with God. Those things can wait ten minutes.
- Pour your heart out. After a chaotic day, it’s helpful for me to listen to or sing one worship song before I get quiet so my heart can settle down. As I’m worshiping and after, I take time to pour my heart out to God. Whatever worries, insecurities, frustrations, joys, questions, and longings you have, share it all with Him. What better place to be completely honest than with a God who already knows your every thought and loves you anyway.
- Be still and listen. This is the hardest part for me. Simply sit, breathe, and listen for a while. If it’s hard for you to be still, set a timer for five or ten minutes. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and quiet the distracting thoughts as they pop up. Will you hear the audible voice of God every time you do this? Probably not. But even if you never hear anything specific, it’s worth taking this time simply to remind yourself that being in God’s presence is more important than your to-do list. When your time is up, say a little prayer and go on to your next thing.
As we grow in the practice of being still and getting quiet before the Lord, I pray that slowing down helps our hearts rest and draws us closer to Him.
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