“The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
It is amazing what just a week of stillness will do for your spirit.
I never wanted to be stuck on the sidelines – especially not in the middle of a busy summer, while trying to prepare for a new baby! I don’t enjoy giving orders from my couch all day. However, there is an element of stillness that is hard to experience when life is rushing along at break-neck speed!
Now I am restricted to my couch or bed for 24 hours a day. I haven’t washed dishes or walked to my garden for a week. I am not allowed to buy groceries or make the beds. I cannot toss a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer – let alone hang them on the line to dry in the warm summer sunshine. I cannot jump in the truck and go put out salt with My Cowboy, or even fry his eggs in the morning.
While my flesh and soul cries out to be able to serve my family – I have been learning what it means to be still. Quiet.
Sometimes you will hear a pastor or someone in a church service encourage everyone to “quiet their hearts before the Lord”. I always think to myself; “How am I supposed to do that?” There’s the toddler tugging at my skirt, the person behind me poking buttons on their cell phone, and the sudden siren outside the window. It’s pretty much impossible to really get quiet before God in a public place. At least for me. I try – I really do. I can definitely praise Him in a crowd. I can pray to him. I can hear from Him, certainly. But get really still before Him? Quiet my heart? No. Not really.
This forced stillness of body has given time for reflection. For soul-searching. Thinking. Reading. ( I would like to sound spiritual and say praying, but I have spent a lot more time in reflection, meditation, and reading, than I have in prayer.) And it’s been good. I am taking time to see the things in my life that I would secretly like to ignore or dismiss as unimportant. Like how impatient I can be with my children. (It just happens once in a while, and after all, that’s life, right?) Or how self-serving my conversations can become. (Oh, you have stories and feelings and happenings in your life, too? I really only want to talk about ME!)
I am ashamed when I think how much ME there is left in me. While I can brush it aside in daily busyness, I cannot avoid it when I have nothing to do but lay in bed and think about every word I say all day. Every phone conversation, and every family interaction.
Then I said; “Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.”
When I see the King, I see myself for who I really am. The Light shines on my heart and reveals the innermost parts that I don’t want to acknowledge. I am irresistibly drawn to the Light. I am repulsed by my own uncleanness. That is a good thing – for only when I see my need for redemption and grace, can it be given. When I repent of my sin, I can be forgiven. When I see a lack of power to overcome sin in my personal life, I can humble myself and come boldly before the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
I am thankful for this time of stillness in my life. It is certainly not my chosen path, but already I can see that it will be an invaluable time of learning, growing and instruction in my life.
I can echo the words of the Psalmist, when he says:
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Note: I am on strict bed rest for complications with my pregnancy.