Advent Week 3: Stillness

“Be still and know that I am God.

-Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

One of my favorite times of day is dawn. Don’t get me wrong. I’m so not a morning person. Matter of fact, I joke that getting vertical is agony. But when I’m up, I truly do enjoy the dawn.

It’s quiet. Peaceful.

Still.

Stillness in our western lives, especially during the Holiday season, is especially hard to come by. Noise fills our days, and I’m not talking about the audible variety. Instead, the busyness of our lives shreds the peace of stillness. Think about it. Work. School. Relationship complications. Social media. Decisions. Then throw in the typical stuff with the Holidays like shopping, parties, decorating, and family. In all of this, we’ve forgotten how to be still. And in forgetting to be still, we lose sight of God. In losing sight of God, we lose our peace.

God has this interesting relationship with those created in His image. He doesn’t dictate what we do. We’re not His robots. Instead, he lets us make decisions. For good, bad, or worse. When those decisions crowd Him out, He won’t demand that we make time for Him. He’ll step back and leave us to our own devices. The end result isn’t pretty. Broken relationships. Petty grievances blown up into something that estranges family and friends. Unchecked addictions that can tear relationships apart.

But when we make stillness apart of our lives, something strange happens. God draws near. If we call to Him, He will answer. He’ll gladly join us when we quiet our hearts. It can turn into something beautiful.

I learned this a couple of years ago. My life had been chaotic for a while. Work always presented new challenges. I was rushing here, there, and everywhere. I had no peace in my life, no stillness. I knew I needed it. I began praying about when it could occur. Remember, I’m not a morning person. But God is faithful. He answered my prayer, and my desire to have stillness with Him increased almost tenfold. He showed me when to do it and how to do it.

Nowadays, I get ready for the day. I grab a cup of hot tea, my computer, and my Bible. I journal my prayers. ThenI read Scripture. As I emerge from that early morning stillness, I feel ready to face the day more focused and more centered on who I serve.

Is it time? Time to seek that stillness? Start by remembering what happened so many years before. Christ came into this world, not to great fanfare but into the quiet of a stable broken only by the sounds of cattle. He came to provide that stillness we so badly need.

So no, I’ll never be a morning person, but I’ll continue to crave that stillness from Him.

Question: What do you do to still yourself?

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