SUMMER PSALMS | FOR STILLNESS

  
Well friends, after nearly two and a half years of dodging said virus that shall remain unnamed, it finally paid a visit to our house. Thankfully, it was mild, but we stayed home for a week just the same. For a few days, I felt that classic kind of blah. The busyness of back to back trade shows, order mailing marathons, and restocking adventures, plus the feels of said virus had caught up to me. (And by the way, said virus did not come from a trade show, can ya believe it?!) 
  
Sickness has a way of bringing the basics back into focus — family, food, water, rest, sunshine. Plans put on hold, to-do's untouched, and this priority front seat: get well. In these days of forced stillness and home-bound living, I’ve been reminded all the more just how vital well rest is even in the busiest seasons. Here we are rounding the corner in June; summer in full swing. Trips are coming up, new projects are in the works, and stillness? Well, no time for that! Right? Maybe not…The Lord is instilling in me stillness in Him regardless of my agenda. I love The Passion Translation’s version of this verse from Psalms 46 — “Surrender your anxiety. Be still and realize that I am God. I am God above all the nations, and I am exalted throughout the whole earth.” There’s a footnote for the first sentence noting ‘let go’ or ‘relax.’ How often do we let go of worries before being still before God? How hard sometimes is it to let go, especially if we don’t realize the grip we’ve been grasping all this time? What if we cannot truly be still without surrendering to Him first? There’s a sort of order here I don’t want to miss. Perhaps God wants, or is even commanding us to let go of whatever we’re holding so we may experience His presence more fully. Of course, there is a clinical side to anxiety here, which I am not referring to in this context. But His presence is full of joy and peace and healing — a deep renewed breathe I think we all need these days. 
  
Maybe you can relate. There’s this ever-inviting scent of summer that smells like relaxing days by the pool. And there’s this other looming expectation in the air that summer days must be activity-packed and travel-photo perfect. I don’t know about you, but a day at the pool sounds pretty amazing right about now. (I’m looking at you, 100 degree Nashville!) You know what else sounds refreshing? Psalms 46:4 tell us that God has a "constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams bring joy and delight to His people. This river “flows right through the city of God Most High, into His holy dwelling places” (TPT). Did you know we are those dwelling places? His river of joy and delight flows into our hearts to refresh and refuel us, and flows through us to share with others. All the while, we may relax in His presence, letting His cooling and life-giving river flow over us. I need a  poolside summer filled to the brim like that. Do you?
    
So what happens when we let go? When we surrender? When we are still before the Lord? The end of verse 10 shows us. 
  
"I am God above all the nations, and I am exalted throughout the whole earth."
   
God is honored throughout the world because He is over it all — our Creator God, full of mercy. He is honored because victory is won in Jesus — our Savior Lord, full of redemption. He is honored because He is always with us, praying on our behalf — our Holy Spirit, full of His presence. We will still worry; we will still get sick; we will still be tired. But we are not without hope. We may be still before the Lord with peace like a river, because we have the Trinity — Father, Son, Spirit —  flowing in and through us. Don’t let logs of worrying and striving block the peace-river flowing from the city of God Most High. The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side (Psalms 46:11 TPT). He is still at work when we are still in His presence. That flowing river does not rely on our own good works because Jesus already paid our way in full. Yes, He is the way to the Father. All for the glory of the Father and our good. Be still. May it be so. 
   
Dear God,
In these wonderful summer days, help me to be still and to seek Your ways. My true rest is found in quiet with You. Let this season be a time to breathe and renew. Amen.

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