May 23, 2007

Learning to Be Still

I think this is my "thorn" as it is the one thing that seems to stick with me most days. I just am not good at sitting still and waiting for the Lord. Well, I am not good at waiting for anything really. It is not so much a matter of patience because I can be quite patient when I want to; rather, it is more about learning to be still and not rushing head long into traffic or treading where "fools rush in."

I read Psalms and Proverbs every single night and while this is probably my 12th time through them (you would think I would get bored with reading the same chapters over and over again), I still find them encouraging and convicting. One of the reasons I find them so helpful is that fact that each time I read a Psalm or meditate upon one of Solomon's Proverbs, I see myself. At times, I see myself as a self-confident fool; at times, I see myself as a righteous person. Most often, I simply "see" myself -- the good, the bad and the ugly -- all at once. It is sobering to reflect on all that you are not (most of the time I am convicted); but occassionally, I see all the I am, all the progress I have made and the distance I have travelled since I first began my journey.

But....I still cannot sit and wait. I think part of it is my personality and part of it is my giftedness. I am an highly gifted individual and I am "oh so very capable." Really, this is the crux of the capableness. I am quite capable of getting along on my own with very little dependence upon God. This is not the way it works with God. He is all about "sufficiency"...His sufficiency. He is not really about making us self-sufficient. In fact, He knows that if left up to our own devices, we would utterly fail and end up in a miserable predicament and would find ourselves crying out to Him to save us.

Today as I read through 1 Samuel 8-10, I was struck by the Lord's words to Samuel and to the Israelites. The Israelites wanted a King and asked Samuel to inquire of the Lord to see if He would grant them one. The Lord did so but with this caveat. He made sure that they understood exactly what they were asking for and what the requirements would be to have a King set over them. These words rang in my heart:

And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken to the voice of the people in all they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them. 1 Samuel 8:7 AMP

The Israelites wanted a King but they couldn't see that they had the very best King possible. They had Him, Lord of Lords and King of Kings. They weren't satisfied with God as their King, even though He had faithfully demonstrated His power and His authority in bringing them up from Egypt, routing their enemies from before them, and giving them the "land that flowed with milk and honey." No, they wanted an earthly, fleshly King to rule over them and the Lord gave them exactly what they wanted.

I thought about this and I thought about my inability to sit still and wait on the Lord. In many ways, I am just like the Israelites of history. I like flesh and blood, the real and the now. My King is waiting for me to sit still and listen to Him. My King is waiting for me to stop running around and seeking earthly delights and to stop looking for sufficiency in anyone or anything other than Him alone.

I pray that I may learn this lesson once for all so that I can get about the business of waiting upon the Lord. I rejoice with the Psalmist when he writes:

Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Psalm 123:1-2

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are such a vain and arrogant people. we are partially made so by our culture. We no longer fear death so much because medicine can cure us most of the time and we want a pill for evry little ache and pain.

It is hard to wait and to have "thorns" in our sides. I always feel the Lord has somethng for us to learn in the waiting. I can truly identify with you though on it.