The pouring rain had slowed to a drizzle. My arms were full and I almost decided to just run to my car, but I grabbed an umbrella thinking I may need it later.
After just a few steps, the bottom fell out and it started raining much harder. I stood there shocked trying to load the car and stay dry. Where did that downpour come from?? I was so thankful I paused to grab that umbrella because otherwise I would have been drenched.
The storms of life show up suddenly like that sometimes and take me by surprise. My first instinct may be to foolishly run ahead thinking I can somehow outrun it. But, it’s always wiser to be prepared, and pause to take the time to grab the umbrella.
I find myself in a storm and I think, “Lord, I want to hold onto you and not let go. I want to go where you lead when you say go. I want to do what you want me to do.”
Those are the sincere cries of my heart, but in reality it is a huge struggle for me.
I am a “yes” girl, “make everyone happy” girl, “make sure everything is ok” girl, and a “grin a bear it” girl.
But, God is showing me a new way in the pause.
What does it look like to grab onto Him and let Him lead? How can I hear his voice and take the steps He is asking me to take?
It’s not easy or natural for me because sometimes, I do run ahead. Or, maybe I listen to what others are telling me I should do. I may even shut down and do nothing because I am frozen again. Other times I move, but it’s out of guilt or even fear.
And He whispers to my spirit, “Be Still, and Know that I am God. You don’t have to have it all figured out anymore. You don’t have to manage and control every situation simply to feel safe. You don’t have to DO, you simply have to BE. You don’t have to worry non-stop about what others think. Simply, FOCUS on ME and be still.”
It sounds so easy, and maybe it is on a sunny and breezy day.
But, then the storms come.
The thundering voices start booming, and the lightning flashes shock my insides. In that darkness, the old patterns of panic and anxiety flare up like fireworks in the sky.
As everything around me swirls out of control, He holds me while I catch my breath. He assures me that I don’t have to move. I don’t have to fix anything. I don’t have to figure it out or manage it.
I simply have to be.
I pause and spend time in His presence. I may listen to worship music, pray or read scripture.
Eventually the pressure blows out with the storm, and I stand and wait. The sun comes up again. It is quieter, and easier to hear His voice. Now, I move.
What verses or songs do you cling to in the storm to remind you to pause, be still and know that He is God? Here’s a few verses and a song that helps me:
- You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7 NIV
- In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues. Psalm 31:20 NIV
- Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 NIV
- You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:14
- Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. Isaiah 4:5-6 NIV
Just Be Held by Casting Crowns