6 Simple and Practical Ways to Be Still
We have a difficult time being still. We flutter and we fret and we worry about everything from what we did last week to what might happen five years from now.
There are mornings when I rise early and enjoy a cup of coffee with my Bible before my kiddos rise. But more often than I'd like, my mornings consist of me jumping out of bed at the crack of dawn and running full speed until well past midnight. It's hard to begin the day with Jesus and even harder to stop throughout each day and enjoy His presence. As women, it is just easy to be in a rush. We have a home to manage, food to cook, errands to run, massive loads of laundry to do, work and/or school, church activities and school events... we have a calendar that won't give us a break! As a single mother, I'm doing the work of two and my plate has never been so full. To put it simply: we are all busy.
No matter how long you have walked with Christ, it will always be a struggle to live out Psalm 46 and be still. It's hard to get quietly alone with God, especially when the enemy throws all kinds of distractions our way - from social media to even the little people pulling at our skirts. I believe distraction is our enemy's most vicious tactic and the only way to combat that is to be intentional in our relationship with the Lord. Make no mistake, if we don't reign ourselves in and sit quietly before God we will grow to be frazzled, stressed out, unwise, and lacking in the joy that quiet time alone with Jesus brings.
While I am by no means close to being an expert on this, below are six practical ways I have found helpful in order to truly "be still" and know that the Lord is God.
Wake up. Do not press snooze. Get up. When you open your eyes, say a prayer. Even if it is, "Father help me today" or "Good morning Lord!" - speak to Him. Some mornings I will lie quietly for a minute and tune my ears to the silence or to the birds beginning to chirp outside.
Utilize your morning routine by listening to the audio Bible, worship music or an inspirational podcast while you get ready for the day, while you eat breakfast or while driving.
Write out a memory verse and place it in your car, on your desk or wherever you frequent most and meditate on it throughout the day. Ask yourself questions. Dissect the verse so you can get everything out of it in order to apply it. Don't overthink, but think and dwell on those things.
Pray while folding the laundry or doing dishes. Pray when you're walking, pray while you're driving. Pray while you're working. Take every available opportunity to just talk to God and pour out your heart. Ask. Seek. Listen. Cry. Grow. Just pray.
Breathe. During the day, notice the leaves, the flowers, the animals, the wind. Notice creation and breathe it all in. We don't understand things and that's why we are prone to worry. But take deep breaths and ground yourself in your surroundings and remember that God has placed you here for a good reason.
Rest. Get to bed at a decent hour. If possible, bring your Bible to bed and read a few passages before you turn out the light. Or, if you're like me and some days you're so weary you don't have anything left, put your Bible next to your pillow or turn on the audio Bible on your phone as you sleep.
The English poet and hymn writer, Frances Ridley Havergal wrote, "Thou layest Thy hand on the fluttering heart, and sayest, “Be still!” The silence and shadow are only a part of Thy sweet will; Thy presence is with me, and where Thou art I fear no ill."
When the world looks at us, may they not see worried, disconnected, depressed people too busy to enjoy the life that God has given them, but see a peaceful, content and joyous people who are grateful for Jesus and His love.
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