God says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be praised in all the nations; I will be praised throughout the earth.”
– Psalm 46:10 (New Century Version)
There seems to be so many different ways in which we can exercise our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Sometimes we need to run the race before us (Hebrews 12:1). Other times we need to search Him out with all our heart (Jeremiah 29:13). There are times we are reminded to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Then there are those times we are called to “be still.”
Finding the time and place for this is often the tricky part.
If you are a teacher, it is likely that you are currently bracing yourself for one of the busiest times of the school year. Reporting season is upon us and any of the time you thought you had to “be still” has probably disappeared with one glance at your timetable.
How do we manage our time wisely when the ‘to-do’ list is a never-ending cycle?
In the school holidays, I felt it was easy for me to get up and spend my mornings reading my devotionals and journalling. It felt like I had so much more time. Yet time fades like a flower in the field all too quickly. Now we are only one week into the school routine and already I am too exhausted to even think about waking earlier to make time for God.
Matthew 6:6 (New Century Version) states,
When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
Where is your quiet place?
For me, nature has always been part of my spiritual relationship with God. Going into a room and closing the door consisted of me going out into His creation and closing the door of home and work life in order to completely step into His presence. When I lived on acreage, my quiet place was down in the field near the creek. That was where I felt I could easily meet God in the stillness of nature. I would often sense God’s presence in a sunset, the beauty of the landscape, a butterfly, a bird, a gentle breeze or a timely rainbow. These days, it is not quite so easy to find a place like that… a place where I can fully remove myself from the distractions of life and fully rest in stillness.
Closing that door is easier said than done. Yet, if we make the choice not to close the door, how much harder will it be to complete the tasks before us in our own strength?
A quiet place is vital to our relationship with God. It is imperative that in everything we do, we serve God and not people. In order to do this, we need to take that time to stop and close the door regularly so we may experience true relationship with our Heavenly Father. He is the only one who can fill us when we are empty. And, at times, we will empty quickly, especially when we are broken.
Brokenness comes in many forms… anxiety, anger, longing, selfishness, jealousy, fear. We will all experience some form of brokenness in our lives, however, it is up to us if we choose to let Jesus use us for His purposes despite our brokenness.
When was the last time you closed that door and gave over your brokenness to Him? When was the last time you allowed Him to heal, mould and use you as a vessel for Him? When was the last time you drew near to Him in that quiet place?
When I teach my children at home, or my students at school, about the importance of spending time with God, I often remind them about closing the door. Of course children will take this quite literally, but it helps for me to explain how sometimes God can meet you where you are (when you desire to communicate with Him) if we make a choice to move away from those things that distract us.
Wherever you are right now in your relationship with God, I pray that you can take (or make) that time to close the door in whatever way comes naturally (or not so naturally) to you. I pray that in doing so, you will find the joy and peace that comes in being still and discovering your own quiet place, even in the midst of the chaos of life.
If we can do this, He promises to reward us and meet our needs. And we know we can trust in Him to fulfil His promises.