A Quiet Place to Stand
“Be still, and know that I am God....” Psalm 46:10
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him....” Psalm 37:7
“...He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul....” Psalm 23:2,3
“Come ye yourselves apart...and rest awhile....” Mark 6:31
We live in a land full of hustle and bustle, noise, commotion, and coming and going. There is something to do, somewhere to go, and someone to talk to every minute of the day. Gone are the quiet woods, the peaceful countrysides, and the long winter evenings by the fireside. Instead, telephones ring, computers and electronic gadgets beep and hum. Music is available on every hand. Even if we have chosen not to be connected to the television and the radio, our world is filled full to the brim with sound and activity.
Our own house is not a quiet place most of the time. It is a busy place, full of ten people or more. It has all the activity that comes with a house full of children. The refrigerator hums. The washer and dryer add their noise. We all communicate together. Only in the late hours of the evening, in the early morning, or the enforced quiet hour of the afternoon are there really quiet times when I can fully relax in the stillness.
This peace and quiet nourishes my soul. It gives me time to meet God, to pray, and to rest my soul in Him.
I am convinced that most of us do not make enough quiet spaces in our lives for our families or ourselves. We fill our days with chores and activities and fall into bed at night drained spiritually, emotionally, and physically. We tend to rise and rush through our devotions. We hurry into the next fast-paced day. We complain of frustration and burn out. We are focusing on the wrong things.
The Master’s first call is to “be still, and know that I am God.” He calls us to quietness, returning, and rest for our strength and salvation. However, what does He say next? “And ye would not!” How true it is. The lifestyle most of us have chosen does not lend itself to quietness. We are caught up in the race to do and to be. We have set our standards for housekeeping and homemaking where our mothers had them. However, we may have many more children. We try to cook healthy meals, sew our own clothes, and homeschool our children. Some of us help in our home business, or aid our husband in his ministry and calling. What then? How can we be quiet? How do we rest? Is there anything to do about this?
True quietness starts in the heart and soul. It is an attitude. It comes as I understand who Jesus Christ is and what He truly has for me. I find it as I accept His plan for my life and the peace that He holds out to me. It comes as I forgive others, as God has forgiven me. It deepens as I give all the expectations I have for my husband and children to Jesus and leave them there. It is as I pause long enough to fully experience God in my life that our whole family is more peaceful as well.
I have been pondering this quiet place to stand because I want it so much for my friends and myself. I suspect that mothers everywhere are yearning to live in peace and quietness and desiring to teach their children how to do the same.
I am finding that even a small shift in my own life and thinking helps a lot. Holding on to the vision of what God has offered me, and pressing on in His strength, I find it becoming a reality in our lives.
This is not about a major effort to change your lifestyle. It is about paying attention to the principles God has laid out in His Word. It is about enjoying the family God has given you and learning how to live right where you are.
There are as many ways to live your life as there are families. Yet even in the differences, we all walk a common path. We all need a close, meaningful relationship to Jesus, to our husbands, and to our children. All of us seem captive to the demands of family and church life. As we respond to the tug and pull of daily life, we tend to find it harder to remember that true rest comes only through knowing God and putting His principles to work in our lives.
Sadly enough, if we do not learn this lesson, we cannot pass it on to our children. It is up to us to show them, by the example of our lives, our desire for quiet time with God, for harmony with each other, and for a life lived in the wonder and joy of each new day.
The idea of enjoying today to the fullest needs to be recaptured. God has given us “this moment to hold in our hands and to touch, as it slips through our fingers like sand. Yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow may never come, but we have this moment today.”
Enjoy the daily dishes, reading together, and teaching your children. Notice the bird’s sweet songs, the lovely clouds, and the beautiful flowers outside your window. Thank God for them in the presence of your children.
My friend, Ruth, struggled through a losing battle with cancer. One day, while in remission, she made the comment, “We are so busy. We do not take time for the little things. But I have learned, after looking death in the face, to be grateful for a friend’s visit, that friendly smile, and the fresh smell of the wind on my newly-washed sheets. Each thing, each day is a gift from God.”
Peep into my window. I was facing a challenge in my busy day. I was frustrated, sure that I could not do another thing. But God spoke to me, “In returning and rest shall ye be saved. Return to Me, My child. I have all the grace and strength that you need. You said you would be a servant. You want to be like Me. I have offered you the chance.” Chastened and humbled, I repented of my attitudes and my lack of a servant’s heart. I sought His grace.
To my surprise (O ye of little faith) the major challenge of schedules disappeared. Things went smoothly, and I even enjoyed the interruption. As I told a friend later, “It had everything to do with my attitude.” A quiet and thankful spirit is healing oil on any situation.
Nothing had changed but me. When the tension left me, the edginess disappeared. The children cooperated beautifully. We were able to prepare for our unexpected guests and have fun doing it.
How often the busyness is “in my mind.” God has called me to serve, sweetly, without recognition, because I love Him. It is my mission field. He will never give me more than I can bear. I must commit my mind to Christ.
One writer said, “Beware of your thoughts. They will mold your character.” So return and rest in your Heavenly Father. Let Him help you with your heart. Out of that sanctified heart will flow rivers of joy. What a promise follows this! “For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10b).
When you feel completely worn out and frazzled, stop and meet with God.
In one of my old books, a missionary remembers seeing his mother on a chair by the fireside with her apron thrown up over her head. He said that as children they learned not to disturb her then, because she was praying. The cottage was small, the weather was cold, and there was no other place to go. So that dear, godly mother withdrew into the quiet recesses of her heart and met with God to find the quietness of soul she needed.
Let us try that today. Sit beside the still waters of the Word. Take a long, cool drink. Then, nourished by that, set some time aside to enjoy your children, the day, and all that God has for you. Miss a few dirty corners. Take a walk with your children, or sit on the floor and read a sweet story to them. Thank the Lord together for His wonderful handiwork and blessings. When everyone is refreshed, come back and see if the chores or schoolwork will not go twice as smoothly as before. Keep a song in your heart and a twinkle in your eyes, and bless the Lord at all times!
If we could understand this principle and put it to work, it would change the atmosphere of our homes. It would make them into havens of rest. This will be a most rewarding challenge for you. God bless you as you grow in standing in that joyful, quiet place.
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