Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Q is for Quiet

Q is for Quiet

“Can you please be quiet, I can’t even hear myself think!?” Not so much a question but a demand if anyone can relate. As a working mom of 3, quiet time is a rare commodity. It seems even tending to a basic necessity that requires me, myself, and I is not without its interruption in our house. I mean, really, what could possibly not wait a few minutes until I’m out of the bathroom!?

Even in those rare moments of quiet, I find it hard to quiet my mind as I think about all the “stuff” I need to get done. I try to organize it in my head, I try to prioritize it, I try to make a plan to make plans to get things done, and I even try to negotiate with myself what I should think is important – ok, so maybe the dog can wait another week for a bath! It’s not long before I realize, I need to get myself out of the way and allow God to enter into my disorganized mess. I need to be quiet.

We have a familiar verse on the wall of our bedroom: Psalm 46:10 “BE STILL, and KNOW that I AM GOD”

Until recently, I was not fully aware of what the verse truly meant. Maybe like many, I thought it meant to chill, relax, no worries because God’s got my back. I keep on keeping on, depending on my own resources, and if and only when things get too rough, I could rest in the fact that God will have it covered. While this is true, I found there is more to it than I thought. What does this mean when God tells me to be still?

The word “still” is translated from the Hebrew word raphah. But as with so many of the words found in English translation, the meaning of raphah is much more than the literal interpretation of being still. Raphah, means to “be feeble; be idle; be weak; let go; release”. One interpretation to better understand this is “let yourselves become weak”. Now, I don’t know about you but growing up in the age of the Feminist Movement, I was taught anything but to be a weak and feeble woman - take command of my future and move towards dependence on no one but me. To be idle meant to give up…surrender…not part of my vocabulary as a young adult.

Independence, strength, and doing became my go to response well into my adult life. This seemed to work for some of the time but not too long ago, I learned it was actually crippling me. Instead of the independence and freedom I thought I would experience, I had become bound and enslaved to the lies I believed about myself and about God. And the worst part is that because it sometimes seemed to work for me, my self-reliance often crippled the relationships I had with the people closest to me and with God.

From a relational standpoint, God will not make me be still or make me feeble, weak, or surrender my will in order to "know" Him. God does not impose His sovereignty on me to be in relation with Him. Being still is an active choice on my part, not passive. Part of this process of knowing God, His character, to have an intimate and deeper relationship with my heavenly Father, means I must actively choose to let myself be weak. So that I may truly KNOW Him, I must choose to seek complete dependence on Him. Choosing to be submissive is not for the sake of acknowledging God has power over me (He certainly doesn’t need me to tell Him that!) but it allows for space and creates opportunity for me to hear, feel, and breathe in God so that I may truly KNOW Him. There is nothing sweeter than to experience God in this way.

I received word this week that my father is dying. I mean, I knew his health was in serious decline because he has been in a nursing home since fall; but, this week, to actually be told and hear he is probably in his last days is totally different. My mind has been spinning in multiple directions all week trying to take control of the details of what was going on and when and how to travel to see him and the need to know exactly how much time we have (which I know no one but God knows). I thought about all the things I needed to get done. I tried to organize, prioritize; I tried to figure out plans. I even tried to negotiate with myself the feelings I was having associated to this process. My relationship with my father was not so great so what should this say about how I should be feeling? And on and on and on…. I think I just need to be quiet so I can hear from my God. My heavenly Father beckons me to be still, lean into Him, choose dependence on Him and know that He is God and He is good. I know - He has all the details figured out already, He meets me where I am in my mess, and loves me through it all.


  1. Dear Donna,
    This is a great post, and really timely for me.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. :-(

    Please let the Connect group know if we can be of help.

    Love you! ~Lynn

  2. This was a great post. Something I really needed to hear!