Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Be still and look up

The Psalmnist wrote in Psalm 46, "Be still and know that I am God." How simple a command. Just be still. Yet, those words are profound and, at times, a great challenge.
This morning, as I walked along the beach, the words of Psalm 46 reverberated in my mind. "Be still and know that I am God." Those words played over and over again as I walked along the sandy shores of Siesta Key, the wind kicking up the waves and the clouds laying a blanket of gray overhead. I kept my eyes glancing forward and ahead as I dodged seaweed mixed with red tide and pieces of broken sea shells. My thoughts didn't go very far. They just kept repeating the simple words of that well known Psalm. Those words were all I needed to hear. I needed the simple reminder that my God desires my stillness.
Before I knew it, I was a mile down the beach. There was no music to pass the time and no walking buddy to chat with along the way. The stillness of the presence of God had been my companion. That alone had passed the time with astonishing speed.
The walk back up the beach felt like walking on air. The wind was at my back, giving me a little extra push with each step I took. Before I knew it I was back at my designated boardwalk where my flip-flops awaited my return. But before I made my way back through the sand and array of beach chairs, the repeating phrase that had run through my mind for the duration of my walk made a sudden change. The words that spoke "be still" suddenly said "look up".
As my eyes moved from the sand beneath my feet to the clouds above my head, a whole new view captivated me. The clouds that had appeared as a blanket of gray were now piereced with pure white light. The rays were brillant and sparkling. The gray still remained but only as a backdrop for the magnificent light display that was bursting forth.
Those rays of light taught me an important lesson. God longs for me to be still in His presence. He wants me to rest in Him, finding my peace in His loving and mighty arms.
And He wants me to look up.
He is holding me, smiling down upon me and He wants me to look into His face and see that He is good. I am to be looking to God in my stillness to find rest and security, peace and reassurance.
On our walk of faith it is easy to get stuck looking at life simply at eye level. We cast our gaze at the ground before us, carefully plotting our next step. Or we look straight ahead, making sure our way is clear. But God wants us to look up. He will do the job of paving our way and making our path clear. He wants to do this for us so that we can simply be still and look up.
Be still in the omnipotent, loving, gracious and mighty arms of God. Be still and look up into His smiling face. Know that He is good. He holds our future in His hands and can keep us secure no matter what the view looks like at eye level. The path He has for us is so much greater than what we see with our own two eyes. Our view can't even comprehend the future He has prepared for us. To get caught up in the stuff of this world is to miss the big picture God is painting overhead. He wants us to stop, be still, and look up. He is doing something marvelous. He is doing something beautiful. So look up, because if you don't,  you might miss the whole thing.

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