Thinking about the holiday season and Christmas being only eight short days away, things seem to be the opposite of still around here. The attempt to buy last minute Christmas gifts, attend Christmas parties and gifts exchanges, as well as finding time to bake endless amounts of Christmas cookies has everyone busier than ever. It can be easy to let something that’s supposed to be a joyful celebration turn into a stress-filled event, but it’s important to keep in perspective what this time of year is really all about. Lately I’ve been confronted with so many different ways that the Lord been telling me to be still, and this idea has really stuck with me during this holiday season. Just some quick examples, the print above my bed at school says “be still”. We talked about being still at one of the small groups I’m in a couple weeks ago. This summer I wrote the words be still for one of my best friends, Genna, to get tattooed on her wrist. The song “Peace Be Still” continues to play over and over when I hit shuffle on my worship playlist. This is a saying that I know God has been intentionally placing in my view, but it’s taken me a while to realize what exactly being still means and why it’s so important.
Before I really began to dig into the word and learn more about God’s desire for us to take time to rest in Him, I would’ve classified many things that I do as being still. Watching Netflix, scrolling through my phone, or just laying in bed are many things I do that are technically “still”. But true stillness involves letting go of the stress, worry, and anxiety that accumulates within us and resting in the immense power of the Lord. He is the King of the universe and He has you in His hands. When you place your trust in Him, you don’t have to question whether or not He’s got you. Psalm 46:10 is a fairly popular verse which states, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the Earth”. Because this is such a popular verse it can be easy to disregard the immensity of these statements, but when we make the conscious decision to be still, it’s in knowing that He is God. The God that brings healing. The God that saves. The God that comforts. The God that brings freedom. The God that renews. The God that gives joy. The God that overcomes. The God that is limitless, with nothing He can’t do or accomplish in our lives. Resting in this and resting in His power brings such a peace, a peace that can only be explained by the love of Christ.
Exodus 14:14 states, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still”. The Lord wants to fight for you on your behalf, but first you have to give up the idea that you can do this all on your own. Give up the late night thoughts trying to figure out how to handle the situation and instead tell God, “Lord I can’t handle this by myself, I need you to handle this for me”. And He will. This is all something I’m learning and something that I will always struggle with. I’m such an independent person and like to think that I can handle everything on my own and never ask for help, whether that be from my family and friends or from God. But He’s there, and He wants us to lean into Him and rely on his power. 2 Corinthians 2:9 says, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” I can’t do it on my own. Where I am weak, He is strong. When I can’t do it, He always can. When I decide to be still, it’s there in that stillness that he works.
This Christmas season (and afterwards too), I’d encourage you to take the time to intentionally be still. In the hustle- bustle of all the final preparations, it can be easy to lose sight of the meaning behind Christmas. Going back to Psalm 46:10, it talks about how the Lord will be exalted in the nations and exalted in the Earth. This time is such a time of opportunity to spread the goodness of the Lord and the incredible gift He sent us when Christ was born. A time to rejoice & proclaim His sweet sweet love for us. A time to allow Him to be exalted in the nations & in the Earth. Christmas will always be busy and sometimes hectic and stressful, but also a time of such incredible joy that we should celebrate. I think there is so much that the Lord wants to reveal to us and speak into us this Christmas season but if we don’t take the time to rest and be still in His presence, we might not hear His voice and His little whispers. Praying for such a beautiful, celebratory, and still Christmas season for all of you.