1 Kings 19:11-12 ---- And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
How long do we run around doing this and that before we stop, not to smell the roses, but to listen? When do we stop in the madness of the day to listen to the Father of the universe and hear His voice? The thing about God is that He is not pushy, and so patient that he waits in the quietness of His time, and sometimes for the right time to make you stop. Some of us have to learn the hard way. My pastor, in reference to his recent illness, said that it was when he was forced to be still (he was in the hospital and couldn't move due to spinal meningitis) that he heard that still, small voice.
I choose to live my life quietly and simply because that voice is my lifeline. Without its gentle whisper in the morning I arise confused and purposeless, and my soul flatlines. I read my devotional this morning and it spoke of Martha, the woman who baked and washed and scrubbed and kept busy, busy, busy, doing and doing, but had no time to lay at her Master's feet and receive a Word for her heart. And on the contrary, it's just as possible to do nothing but be still, yet listen to nothing. That is a most dangerous form of emptiness that leaves us susceptible to be filled with whatever flights of fancy cross our path. The stillness is not a time of emptiness, but a time of renewal where we are open but guarded. A woman should always be guarded in the world, but open to God. We women are strong, but yet so fragile, and often forgetting that our true strength lies in our femininity and submission. It takes so much strength to let go and trust. But we have to be full of the right thoughts and habits and values to do that. You won't fill your gas tank with kerosene so fill your heart with the premium, high octane Word that will strengthen you as you need it. As women we give so much of ourselves to our friends and loved ones, but if we don't stop in the midst of it all to take a breath, and catch a glimpse of the One who has given us all we work so hard to maintain, how can we know what it's really for? Ladies how can we nurture if we don't nurture ourselves first? And that takes time, and silence, and peace. It may be a manicure or a long walk, journaling or silent meditation. It may be yoga or a nice dinner with a few close, real friends. It maybe locking yourself in the bathroom because the house is full (I've done this LOL) and taking a few deep breaths and whispering a prayer. Whatever it is, take - no - make time for it. Feed your soul first before you step out into the world, or every accomplishment will be nothing but a brass medal around your neck, and all that brass can get pretty heavy. A woman's real value is in her heart - her character and her integrity. A woman's words should be like sweet, creamy, melted butter, but sharp and poignant like the kick of cayenne pepper (I personally like that combination on shrimp). We are dazzling, multi-faceted gems of creation, but can lose our luster if we don't take the time to polish up. And that polishing has to be done internally. Don't look at me in my suit and matching shoes, dressed to the nines, and think I have it all together. I don't. I am a work in progress but I am progressing.
We can have all the degrees on the wall and the fine china and the sparkling granite kitchen countertop at which we stand, grating cheese for the macaroni everyone is asking for (preaching to myself here). But what of our hearts? What of the condition of our souls? Why don't we stop and check that? Is it that we are too busy or is it that we fill our lives with the clutter of accomplishment to mask the soul we lost along the road to achievement? Nothing worth having is worth losing the ability to hear that still, small voice. In yesterday's sermon I was reminded that it is obedience that makes that voice louder. It's faith and trust that amplify that small voice so it can drown out the cacophony of life. And the triad of harmony of the Three-In-One, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, balance the scales of life in our favor.
Take a moment today and turn off the TV and put down your cellphone and just listen...
We live in a world where we have to be wowed to buy into anything. So we look for God in the strong winds and earthquakes of life, but how can we find him in the storm and the madness with the debris of our lives flying all around? It's in the stillness that He makes Himself truly known, and it's the quiet peace He brings there that connects us to Him and lets us feel his protective love. That's what makes us smile as we are standing in the rubble, hearing a bird sing in its still, small voice.