Be Still

When we moved into our home I wanted to put up art with scripture on it. We’ve lived here several years now and I have only a few scriptures on our walls. I love drawing and painting so I decided to paint some verses that have meant a lot to me through my life.

Recently there was a death in my family that has left my head full of questions with answers that either weren’t there or hard to swallow. Family dynamics, that I’m not sure what to do with, have been brought out from their neatly packaged places in my heart and into the light, leaving my head in a whirl and my heart weighed down. With my head in a fog and a pit in front of me, eagerly waiting to consume me, I came to my breaking point. I looked to the heavens and cried, “Lord, help me! Please help me!” It wasn’t long before I heard two words echo in my head. “Be still.” For the next several hours I not only heard those words but I pondered on them. I knew it was a Bible verse and I remember hearing those words at other times in my life. I decided these would be great words to hang on my wall.

Be still…I painted those words on the canvas but it seemed so plain. It needed P1040793more. My intention was to put the rest of the verse but I found two similar verses. Which one should I put? Exodus 14:14 “Be still the Lord will fight for you” or Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God”? I felt these were the same but didn’t know why. What does that mean anyway, know that I am God? I know you are God. What are you saying here Lord? As I dug deeper I began to understand.

Be Still

     Be at rest

           Cease striving

Quit wrestling, warring, controlling, or manipulating. Quit trying to figure it all out. Don’t fret or be anxious. Quite down, settle down. Be at rest. (If you’re at rest, you’re not anxiously stirring with your heart pounding through your chest.)

Know that I am God.                                                                                                     The Lord will fight for you.                                                                                              I, the Lord…the One who held mountains in His hand,                                                                 the One who weighed the islands on His scale,                                                       the One who breathed life into your lungs…                                              He’s the One who has the final say.

                                                                                                                                                        The final say about who you are and who you are not.                                         The final say about life and death.                                                                              The final say about your healing.                                                                               The final say about your victory.                                                                                The final say about which way to go and when you will get there.

Know that this…this problem or trial or situation, is not your weight to bear. Jesus already bore the weight of sin and death on His shoulders.

Be still.                                                                                                                          Know that I am God. I will fight for you.                                                                  The Lord will take care of you.                                                                                   He’s got this.                                                                                                                    Nothing is to hard for Him. Nothing is impossible for Him.                                  He knows the truth and He knows which direction to go. Your only job in this situation is to trust Him and let God do what only He can do.

Be still. P1040833

I still have unanswered questions and things I may never come to understand. Yet, I know that I can rest in the fact that God is good, He is in control, and He loves and cares about me. I can sit with a quiet heart, even in the midst of uncertainty because I trust Him.

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Wasteland to Fruitful

My kids were learning the history of the Great Plains. I love history so this was right up my alley. I thought I knew what to expect before we dug into learning but I was surprised when I saw pictures of the Plains in the 1800’s. It wasn’t the clothes or the buildings that surprised me, it was the landscape. It was formless. There was nothing there. It was so odd to see no trees, bushes or plants. The only place trees grew was near rivers. It was barren, which is why it used to be known as the Great American Dessert. It wasn’t seen as fit to grow anything. It was simply a path settlers traveled to get to the west.

There was a similar situation in the Old Testament. The land often lay barren, overgrown with thorns when the Israelites were taken as captives to other lands. The ground seemed to be good for nothing. In the same way our hearts can become like a wasteland when we make bad choices. Sin can take root and grow thorns and weeds in our soul making our hearts an entangled mess. Who would really want to fight the thorns and weeds to make this ground fruitful again? Who would want to buy barren land?

In Matthew 13 Jesus is telling a short parable about a hidden treasure. In verse 44 we read, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Jesus is like the man who gave all He had and bought us. He gave all He had for us. Why? Because He treasures us! He doesn’t care that our hearts look like a barren wasteland. It doesn’t worry Him that we have a mess of sharp thorns and stubborn weeds growing. He loves us so much He gave everything that we could be free of all that entangles us. He went before us making a way for us to be free. He lived in victory from sin. A perfect example to us of how to live. His heart was in constant connection with the Father’s as ours can also be. We were made to be in relationship with the Lord. To be free of sin that so easily entangles. To be like a tree planted by the water that sends its roots by the stream. We were made to be strong in the Lord and fruitful for God’s glory. We were made to walk in victory through the LoIMG_1619rd Jesus Christ.

If you see the Plains today it is a stark contrast to the pictures of the late 1800’s. What was once thought of as a barren wasteland is now producing crops and sustaining herds. I’m so glad Jesus was willing to give everything for us. Without Him our hearts would surely be a barren wasteland. But when you make Jesus the Lord of your life and allow Him to go through the process of restoring you, we become as beautiful as any garden.

beauty for ashes