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Being Still in God's Love

4/28/2024

Isaiah 30:15

In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.


Good morning, beloved congregation! Today, we gather in this sacred space to reflect on the timeless truth that sometimes, amidst life’s chaos and challenges, we need to trust that God is with us, watching over us, and providing for us. Let us open our hearts and minds to receive this divine message.


Our salvation, our alignment with God begins with being still, being quiet. Stillness is not inactivity or passivity; it is an intentional attitude of waiting, listening, and trusting in God’s faithfulness. Psalms 37:7 tells us to “Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him.” Christ came to save us, to attune our souls with that of our Divine Father. We cannot heed that call of Christ if we are thrashing about spiritually. So, God gives us the command in Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”


Becoming still and allowing God’s love to envelop us initiates our trust in God. Life can be a whirlwind—a cacophony of demands, worries, and responsibilities. We rush from task to task, from one commitment to another. But amid this frenzy, God calls us to stillness. Not just physical stillness, but a quieting of our souls—a deliberate pause to allow His love to wash over us. It’s in these moments of stillness that we truly encounter God and trust His presence and power.


It takes persistence, practice, and the awareness of our current feelings to release the effects of what the world is throwing at us. Recognizing that we are out of sorts is a must for us to move into the Silence of God.


The world can be relentless, pushing us from all sides. We carry burdens -- physical, emotional, and spiritual. But God invites us to surrender them. In Matthew 11:28, Christ invites us to put down our encumbrances, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Imagine a weary traveler unloading a heavy backpack at the end of a long journey. Our burdens may include worries about health, finances, relationships, or the future. Yet, in stillness, we can lay them at the feet of our loving Savior.


God doesn’t promise a life free from challenges, but He does promise to carry our burdens. When we relinquish control and trust Him, He lifts the weight from our shoulders. Like a parent comforting a child, God whispers, “Rest, my beloved. I’ve got this.” In stillness, we learn to rely on His provision, knowing that His love sustains us even in the darkest valleys.

And as we all know, life is good at presenting dark valleys. But it is never to scare us or beat us down. We face challenges to learn, grow, and become stronger, more confident, and more trusting. Life presents us with countless decisions—some trivial, others life-altering.


In the quietude of prayer, we seek God’s guidance. Stillness allows us to hear His gentle voice, guiding us toward wisdom and discernment. As we wait upon Him, answers emerge—not always as thunderous revelations, but as gentle nudges, leading us toward His perfect will.


But sometimes, despite our best efforts, we fall short. We strive, we stumble, and we rise again. But God’s love isn’t contingent on our performance. It’s freely given, even when we feel inadequate. In stillness, we find rest—a soul-deep rest that transcends weariness. It’s an invitation to cease striving and simply be loved by the One who knows us intimately.


We can trust that God’s love always enfolds us. Trust is a bold and confident security based upon faith. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”  Not leaning on our own understanding means not to spend a lot of time in our heads, busy, busy, busy, trying to figure it all out. That is the opposite of being still. Rather, we are to trust God, lay our concerns at His feet, don’t hold on to them, and He will make straight our path. He will unburden our journey. He will even carry us when we need it.


In today’s world, we may think that it is difficult to find moments for stillness. But it is not. But it is best to build them into our day. Incorporating intentional practices into our daily routines can help us cultivate inner calm and connect with Christ.


We might consider beginning our day with a few minutes of silence. Before checking our phone or diving into tasks, sit quietly. Breathe deeply and set positive intentions for the day. Throughout the day, we can pause and focus on our breath. Inhale slowly, counting to four, and exhale for the same duration. Mindful breathing anchors us in the present moment, not our worries.


Many of us do this, but sometimes we need a reminder to spend time outdoors. Whether it’s a park, garden, or forest, immerse ourself in nature. Listen to birds, feel the breeze, and observe the beauty around us. When golfing, between concentrating on a shot, spend time appreciating the beauty of the environment.


Designate tech-free zones or times. Put away devices during meals, before bedtime, or during family interactions. Disconnect to reconnect with stillness. Speaking of meals, savor each bite. Pay attention to flavors, textures, and smells. Eating mindfully brings awareness to the present moment and helps release other pressures.


Throughout the day, we can pause and express gratitude. Reflect on blessings, even the small ones. Gratitude shifts our focus from lack to abundance. Offer up a quick prayer. “Thank You, God,” is all we need to say. Just thinking, “Love,” “Peace, or “Light”, lifts our soul.


We can end our day with a calming ritual. Dim the lights, listen to soothing music, or practice deep breathing. We can move into the silence and quiet of God and let go of the day’s worries.


“In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Let us heed the call to stillness. It is my prayer that we allow God’s love to envelop us, soothe our soul, and lighten our load. As we close, let us reflect on these words: “I need to be still and let God love me.” I pray that we find peace by being still in God’s love. It is Gods’ invitation to rest, trust, and know Him.

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