One of my greatest pleasures is a long solitary walk early in the morning. Sometimes, it’s almost like an extension to my private worship and, given that we live in the most beautiful rural countryside, it’s almost impossible not to worship God in the face of His magnificent creation. Other times, I find myself ruminating on the various challenges that life sometimes throws at us. This morning was definitely a ruminating walk!
Quite suddenly the words, “Stop struggling!” came to mind. It was such a strong feeling that I actually stopped dead in my tracks. Moments later this verse popped up in my thoughts; ‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’ (Exodus 14:14)
By now my attention was fully engaged. As I started walking again, a number of other verses came to mind.
‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46:10)
‘Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.’ (Psalm 37:7)
‘Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.’ (Psalm 62:5-6)
‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Isaiah 40:31)
Whenever I walk, I always have my small mp3 player with me. I love good music and frequently play a selection of instrumental hymns. As I turned my steps towards home, I decided to switch it on. The first hymn that came up was a beautiful version of “Be still my soul”. This was, unusually for me, a sung version so I was fully able to appreciate the words.
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; your best, your heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; your God does undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
To say I was deeply moved by this whole experience would be a significant understatement! I’m not sure if this comfort refers to challenges I’m currently facing or perhaps those yet to come but there’s one thing that I’m completely sure of… ‘neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8:38-39)
Dear friends, I encourage you all to stay strong in the Lord, meditate on His Word and write it on your hearts. And take time to be still in His presence.
‘You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)