(This post originally appeared here.)
All Shook Up. If you’ve been reading our posts so far this month, you’ve likely caught on to this theme, this common thread that our writing team has been wrestling with, praying over, and vulnerably sharing our hearts about both here on the blog and at the upcoming Awaken conference. We share with one, united, single desire – to show you a pathway to the hope found in Jesus the Christ in the midst of your “All Shook Up”.
I’ve had to really search my heart about this topic. I mean, I could write a book on my “All Shook Up” experiences just from the past couple of years. Cancer, an incurable disability that mystifies the medical community, living with chronic pain every day, insecurities about my appearance and abilities, family division and problems, caring for aging parents, financial concerns….I could go on. Those are hard things to endure and most definitely become earthquakes under my feet in the moments they arise. But if I’m being very honest here – well, I feel the most “All Shook Up” when God whispers the dreaded two little tiny words to my heart:
You see, I’m one of those people who find comfort in forward motion. I am a results-driven, goal-oriented planner, and I crave resolution for the unresolved. Maybe you are, too. In a crisis, I tend to fix my gaze ahead, push emotions aside, and press forward through it with my eyes locked on the desired outcome. There is no time for emotion or meltdowns. I’m too busy for that. For me, I feel the most shook up when the reality of what those two tiny words really mean hits my heart.
Ugh. Again? Seriously God? We’ve covered this already…you know I’m SO bad at this.
Maybe being still in the “time in between” is so hard for me because the focus shifts from being busy to a way-too-keen awareness of my inner self – the condition of my heart, my will…my soul. If I’m being still, then there is WAY too much time for me to allow God to search my heart and show it to me, or to hear God call me to do something that maybe I really don’t “want” to do.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1, NIV)
Yet despite my lack of discipline in this area, it doesn’t change the fact that God calls us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. And in order to be just that, we not only must lay down on the altar. We have to stay there.
There’s one little problem with that.
Living sacrifices move. By its own nature, a living sacrifice doesn’t want to “stay” on the altar. It squirms and thrashes around and tries everything in its own will and power to get off that altar before the heat becomes too hot.
Sound familiar? Yeah, I know. Me, too.
“God, I surrender…I place myself at your feet…take what you need!”
And then, a few days or hours or minutes or seconds later…
“Can I get up now?”
And He just keeps reminding me over and over again to Just. Be. Still.
He reminds me that because He loves me, He does not call me to blindly stay on that altar. Read His promise again – he promises that in the offering, I will have full view of His mercy! That’s a promise, and God does not break His promises. Ever.
In the seasons of waiting and transition that we all find ourselves in from time to time, sometimes there is silence, or sometimes we can’t quite decipher the next steps yet. The minutes feel like hours, and the hours feel like days. That in itself can feel like an earthquake under our feet that will destroy us. But friends, it just means He knows we aren’t ready for the answer yet. It means that the process is the point. It means that He loves us way too much to leave us where we are.
In those moments, when we hear perhaps the most difficult two words ever, we must “hold [our] peace and remain at rest” while the Lord fights for us (Exodus 14:14, AMP).
Think of those two scriptures together, in the marriage of the Old and New Testaments, and how powerful His Word is about being still: We can rest on the altar, holding our peace…in full view of His mercy.
In the quiet time in between this and that, we indeed can be still. Because the truth of the promise of the One whose love is deeper, wider, and truer for us than any other makes those two little words a lot less scary.