The Scripture for today is Isaiah 29:13-16 13 The Lord says:
“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught 14 Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” 15 Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” 16 You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”?
Do you find yourself struggling for authenticity in your relationship with God? Are you going through the motions of worship and study? Do you feel disconnected? To be honest, I struggle with feelings of disconnectedness. I find that my heart literally burns within me and I hunger for an authentic relationship with my Father. There are so many, many distractions – work, worry, self-absorption, sloth, BUSYNESS! Sometimes I just want to shout – STOP THE RIDE, I JUST WANT TO GET OFF! Have you ever ridden on a merry-go-round at the playground? At first it is fun as you whirl faster and faster, everything flashing by at hyper speed; then all of a sudden, the exhilaration is gone, replaced by a feeling of dizziness. Physically, you may experience nausea – that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that all is not well within you. You need to get off the merry-go-round and just be still.
Stillness – that is a foreign concept for so many of us. Yet, I find that when I am still – when I put down my things-to-do list, don’t dwell on my worries, stop focusing on myself, and turn off the various forms of media so that I can surrender to God’s presence; the hunger in my heart eases. My feelings of disconnectedness melt away. I am currently reading several books about spiritual disciplines – those practices that transform our hearts and renew our minds by connecting us to God. I deeply desire to make these disciplines part of the daily rhythms of my life. Truthfully, these disciplines are a struggle. My natural inclination is to go, go, go….. I secretly find that merry-go-round of busyness and distraction exhilarating. For a brief moment, there is a high of adrenaline and accomplishment before my depleted soul says “whoa”. Whoa – slow down – throttle back – rest…… not too easy for this girl. Relationships take TIME to develop and deepen. I can’t just go through the motions. I can’t just say the right things with my lips while ignoring the state of my heart.
So, today I am concentrating on stillness – trusting God to lead and allowing his tired daughter to rest secure in his presence. Trusting that he will meet me as I slow down and spend time in his presence. As I concentrate, I will be mindful of this beautiful verse: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4
Dear Jesus – help me to be still! Shelter me under your wings and draw me close to you. Teach me to love others enough to share the good news of the transformed life your children can live in your kingdom! I love you, Lord Jesus. Amen.