Be still and know that I am God! - Psalm 46:10
Every year around January I spend a lot of time in prayer asking God to give me my “word” for the new year. Each year, he lays a different word on my heart. When I look back, it’s amazing how well each word fits that year.
2016 was a particularly difficult year for my family and I. We had one piece of bad news after another. At the end of the year, I was physically and mentally exhausted.
In January I began praying for my “word” for 2017. While taking a hot bath and praying (it’s amazing the amount of clarity that comes with a hot bath or shower) the Lord gave me my answer. It was completely unexpected. He didn’t give me 1 word, he gave me 3! The words he gave me were pray, rest, wait.
When he gave me my words for the new year, I was overcome with emotion. My eyes quickly filled with tears and I was in awe of the goodness of God. I had spent all of 2016 “doing” and I was worn out, burnt out, and ready to give up. I was anxious to pray for my word for 2017 because I was afraid that it would lead to more for me to do. But instead, God just wanted me to pray, rest, and wait. What a relief!
It is so easy to get caught up in “doing”. Our lives are filled with expectations. We are expected to keep our homes clean, be amazing parents, have successful careers, eat healthy, exercise, and be a great friend – all with a smile on our face. In a world filled with unfair expectations, it’s easy to think that God expects performance too.
Just as God reminded me that he wants to lighten my load, not add to it, let me refresh your soul with the same reminder. God simply wants to be with you! He wants you to come and rest in his presence. To be still. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. (Matthew 11:30).
How can you be still?
Pray – Spend time laying your requests, fears, burdens, heartache, and thankfulness before him. Don’t get caught up in formalities. Simply talk to him like you would a friend.
Rest – Rest in knowing that God has heard your prayers and he is working them out. Even if you can’t see him working, trust that he is. This can be the trickiest part, because often if we don’t see movement we try to handle things ourselves. Don’t do it! That only leads to exhaustion and a longer wait on what you prayed for.
Wait – We serve a BIG God! We should expect that he is going to answer our prayers in BIG ways. “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” – Psalm 5:3 Waiting can be difficult but try to wake up each morning in anticipation of what God is going to do.
Dear Lord, thank you that you don’t have a list of things for us to do. How wonderful to know that you simply want to spend time with us. Please help us be still by taking the time to be with you in prayer and in your word. Thank you that we can rest in knowing that you hear our prayers and are faithful to answer them. We wait in expectation to see the amazing ways that you will answer our requests! In Jesus’ name, Amen.