As I write this article I'm on a plane headed for the Jersey Shore. I'm 30,000 feet above sea level, soon hoping to be swimming in the sea. But as I cruise at 450 miles an hour toward the shore I've been thinking...where has my summer gone? In April, I made a resolution, I'm going it slow down relax and enjoy the summer. There are less than 8 weeks left to the summer and haven't really slowed down or taken a deep breath. Sure, I've taken a number of lakeside walks and gone on a few weekend trips, but I really haven't slowed down and enjoyed God's creation. I get wrapped up thinking about and planning all the fun things I am going to do then when the time comes to enjoy them, I'm thinking about what's next. In some respects, I feel like I've been bouncing from Ice Cream Cone to Ice Cream Cone this summer. As much as I like my double scoop of Chocolate Peanut Butter, the sugar highs just don't cut it. I'm in need of something more profound.
Something like what was revealed to the Psalmist. "Be still and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10)." God is saying to me, be still and bring life to a complete halt. God isn't saying sign up for a mission trip, a service corp, or make a pilgrimage. He is saying stop and enjoy his presence. To which I all too often say "But God there is so much to do and so little time," and like the good father He replies "JUST STOP."
Looking closer at the verse and within the context of the entire psalm, God is saying if we just be still He will reveal his presence to us, provide us his protection and guide us. But in order to possess this infusion of Heavenly Grace, we can't be busy or thinking about what is coming next. We must stop and enjoy the presence of God in the present. So heed the advice of the Psalmist and take some time to bring life to a standstill, relax and breathe in deep, and let the Spirit of God fill your lungs. You'll be glad did when the autumn wind comes blowing in.
Speaking of the present, the landing gear just lowered...time to come to a halt...
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord;
see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.