Sometimes we just need to slow down, to stop. To stop trying to figure things out. To stop trying to hear. To stop trying to say the right things. To stop moving forward for just a moment. Just enough to drown out all the noise with silence. Just enough to realize just how close our God really is.
He is near. And as if the God of creation needed to make Himself any more clear, He sent Jesus with the name Immanuel: God with us. Near us. Always and forever.
We need not fear the stillness, the silence, the quiet. We’re so afraid that our own thoughts and doubts will strangle us that we are afraid to sit still for one second. We think that we’ll be considered less in God’s eyes if we don’t keep doing, keep digging, keep going. Nothing can make us less in His eyes. Nothing. He looks at us and sees Jesus. Period.
But what He wants more than all the doing and digging and going, is for us to stop, to sit, and to rest in His presence. To put aside any and every distraction, and just come to Him. With whatever baggage, whatever burdens that are weighing us down. He wants our brokenness, our fears, our doubts, our dreams. He wants us to be weak enough to fall into His arms. He wants us.
Today I am reminded of that as I allow the stillness to come close. As I am conscious of my own weakness and frailty. As I am reminded of what I’m really waiting for in this life. Not a clear path, not a diagnosis, not a ministry, not a person…those are all such temporary things that will change again oh so quickly anyway. No, I am waiting on an eternal glory that far outweighs anything that we can wrap our head around. A new heaven. A new earth. Redemption. Our crazy lives and circumstances remind us of that deep need that was met on the cross and will, someday soon, cast out all the craziness and all the trouble and all the sin and all the hurt. We await a day when all the waiting will be over.
2 Peter 3:9-15
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
That gives me a new perspective on my waiting. A waiting that needs to be infused with patience. Not just any patience, but the patience of God. That patience is salvation, because the fact that He is waiting to return and that we await it eagerly is for the purpose of more people to taste and see that He is good. So I will proclaim His goodness in the midst of my waiting, because I’m really waiting not on things to get better, but on His goodness to be fully known by all of creation when He comes. That is what I’m waiting for, and that new knowledge gives me peace that just doesn’t make sense. Slow down. Ask Him to remind you why it is worth it. I promise you, He will.
PS–For further reading, actually, listening…Check out Audrey Assad. Particularly the song “Slow.” But really, all of her songs are so good and speak so clearly of God’s heart.