“Be still and know that I am God!” Be still… I can remember as a kid being told to settle down… to be still… Be quiet… The message felt so personal, like an indictment on my heart. If you can’t sit still there must be something wrong with you… A cold wet blanket of shame over my strong good heart. “
As a man that has experienced trauma, the words “be still” always felt like a requirement and not an invitation. I could never sit still. I was constantly churning, driven by fear and anxiety.
Scripture is filled with language about stillness and fearing not… Filtered through the lens of traumatic experiencing these words felt more like a mountain to climb than an invitation to sit and be at peace.
Its been a long journey getting to a place where these words feel like an invitation from a good Father that longs to hold His son. Paul Young says we spend a lifetime wiping the images of our trauma from the face of God. Our traumas create a lens by which we see and experience the world. They limit our perspective.
They create tunnel vision and produce a reality where life is just one big battle to fight… The language in scripture about battles is that we are to sit and rest… So counter-intuitive.
Living in this tension of the right now and not yet is the very space we find rest. I am learning that tension is a good thing. It alerts us and reminds us just how much we need Gods good and strong fathering. It’s an opportunity to discover a better and truer reality.
The truth that all things are made new. The truth that we are becoming the men and women God intended us to be from the beginning. Our fears and anxieties surrendered become the container for experiencing how deep and how wide our Fathers love are for us.
The point is that we were created to live, move and have our very being in the context of deep connection with the one that made us.
When I’m driven by fear, I am removed from the present and current reality that today I have all I need. I miss out on the gifts of a warm smile, sunshine, cleansing rain, and beautiful scenery. Instead of hearing the words be still as an indictment, they can be received as an invitation.
An invitation to experience God… To not just know about Him, but to really receive his good heart for us. What would it be like to get still, not as a punishment, but as an opportunity? Stillness settles the swirling chaos. It allows the dust to settle and brings clarity.
Take some time to linger, to rest, to offer your mess to the God who knows you and is so fond of you.