"The Lord was not in the wind. . .The Lord was not in the earthquake. . .The Lord was not in the fire. . . And after the fire came a gentle whisper." I Kings 9:11, 12
As I sit here this morning, it's dark outside. On the east coast we're awaiting the storms that have been tearing through several states, causing catastrophic damage and widespread loss of lives. The way the weather is causing such record-breaking damage in such a short amount of time, it's definitely getting lots of attention, and hopefully causing people to look up---past the clouds and straight to the Maker of all creation~ God.
- Be still - The word used here - from רפה râphâh - means properly to cast down; to let fall.....to be relaxed....especially the hands: It is also employed in the sense of not making an effort... and then would express the idea of leaving matters with God, or of being without anxiety about the issue. . .
- And know that I am God - See, in what I have done, the evidence that I am God. See a work accomplished which none "but" God could effect. . . .
- I will be exalted among the heathen - That is, among the nations. The nations abroad that do not worship Me, but worship idols, shall see in these deeds full proof that I am the true God, and that I am worthy of universal adoration. . .
- I will be exalted in the earth-In the lands abroad; all over the world.
Just be still, knowing that God is in control. And, if you're one of "the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28), then He has promised you to work this, yes, even THIS, out for your GOOD and His glory.
I was reading in my "Joy and Strength" devotional today the following, and thought it would be helpful to add:
"Jesus STOOD STILL, and commanded him to be called."
"Don't we sometimes feel, in trial or storms, that others would be a help to us if only they'd stop and listen? But they won't, and in their constant hurry we know it's little use to speak. Let us note this lesson for ourselves--and give what WE ask: leisure to hear, attentive, concentrated, not divided~ but calm, patient consideration for others in their time of need. It may be our 'busy work for the Master' overcrowds our lives that we don't have the time for this 'standing still.' Sad eyes meet ours, but we can't stay to read their story. Some look to us for help in battles which WE fought long ago, but we can't turn aside to see how it fares with them in the strife, or to even whisper the secret of victory. God would have said, 'Even though some plans of your own for My service were put aside, you have done it unto Me." (H. Bowman)
Jesus took the time to stop and listen. . . to get in the "trenches" with the people who were suffering and needy. It's just like my big bathtub. I can not lean over it, from the outside, and scrub the entire thing. Nope...I have to actually GET IN THERE and scrub the dirt away. Same with people and the storms of life: Sometimes we have to get in there...we can't stand from the sidelines and offer help "from afar."
So this lesson is two-fold:
- If YOU are left standing in the rubble of your life, after a terrible storm ~ God wants you to be still and know. . . just trust that He is going to work even THIS out for your good and His glory.
- And if by chance, you're on the outside, looking in on someone who's IN the trenches, in the fight of their life---yes, you may be busy about the Master's business...but sometimes it's best to Stand Still (as Jesus did) and stop what you're doing. Offer a shoulder to cry on, a comforting word, a strong arm to lean on, a guiding hand that will point them to God.
Father, You want us to be still. This is so difficult to do, when we're overrun by anxiety. Yet, Your Word offers us a command, not a suggestion, but a command---to be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to You. We want to do Your will, just as Jesus came to do Your will. Either we are IN a storm, standing in the rubble from a recent storm, OR we are bystanders. The way life is, we are going to be in one of those categories at some point or another all throughout life. Please help us to remember to be willing to Stand Still by trusting Your Sovereignty and taking the time to listen to someone else who may need an encouraging word. In Jesus' Name....amen.