New New Peace
Matthew 6:6 ESV
Mark 1:35 ESV
I Peter 5:6-11 RSV
Exodus 14:14 ESV
Zephaniah 3:8 ESV
Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
Psalm 46:10a ESV
Isaiah 26:3 ESV
Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
I learned about the peace of God when I was a wee lass.
I learned it from my da.
I learned it by sitting in the same room with him when he prayed.
When I was young it wasn’t very easy because it meant I had to sit still and be quiet.
It took time, but ever so gradually I learned that when I sit still and don’t talk, something very special happens.
I learned that when I sit really still and I didn’t talk and I watched my dad while he prayed, everything changed. His shoulders relaxed and the lines in his forehead went away. It was almost like he glowed. I made a point of sitting quietly in the same room with my dad when he prayed. It was almost like heaven’s gates opened when he sat in silence with God.
When my dad prayed he would hold onto his old worn out Bible in his hands. My dad relied on that old book. How he loved it!
As I grew, I learned how to read scripture and pray about what I read. Scripture became a roadmap for me.
As a young adult I learned to memorize scripture and pray that scripture to God.
Matthew 6:6 says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Nothing on earth blesses us quite like sitting in silence and praying scripture.
Even Jesus stowed away when He prayed. He would find a quiet place where His disciples couldn’t find Him. Mark 1:35 tells us, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
Jesus went off in secret to sit with God the Father. His disciples went looking for Him because they were eager to get on the road (it was Peter). Peter was a man of action and he was always eager to get going.
I love the way Peter is depicted in the series ‘The Chosen’. He is gutsy and eager to get moving. He steps up to the plate immediately without fear.
Yet even Peter learned the humility of God. He learned to pray and wait. I memorized I Peter 5:6-10 years ago and Peter’s words still comfort me daily. By the power of the Spirit, he wrote, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
Also, when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt they were happy at first. But then the Egyptians chased after them and they were blocked in by the sea. They became afraid because they had no place to go to and they cried out to Moses.
In Exodus 14:14 Moses told Israel, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
With the Egyptians behind them and the sea ahead of them, what did God do? He told Moses to touch the sea with His staff and God parted the waters and dried the wet ground. Then, once they were across, God loosed the waters onto the Egyptians.
They were silent and God fought for them!
The Prophet Zephaniah wrote in Zephaniah 3:8 giving Israel God’s word, “wait for me.”
Then in Zephaniah 3:17 the promise of the word came, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
As the Sons of Korah proclaimed in Psalm 46:10a, “Be still and know I am God.”
Be still, for therein you will let God find you. In Isaiah 26:3 the prophet Isaiah wrote, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
So, folks here’s the catch…the thing I learned from my da decades ago. You have to be still. You have to turn off the tele. Unplug the iPod and the radio.
Sit in silence. Somebody who was once astonished by my declaration once asked me, “for how long”? And I tell them what my da used to say to me…”for as long as it takes.”
Psalm 23:1-6 is my favorite psalm. Whenever things have been really crazy and I need to be rejuvenated, I sit quietly and let the words of David the shepherd wash over me.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Be still…for as long as it takes.
Spiritual Practice: Be Still
God is waiting for you. Turn off all the external and internal sound and let God in.
In God, Deborah