Originally posted to my original author blog Bravely Enduring in April 2018.
This story begins with loneliness in a house full of napping children, a text conversation with a friend and my grandparents’ green armchair.
That’s where I am.
My plan was to drive four of my five children at rush hour to a big Good Friday production in downtown Austin to worship with thousands of my fellow Christians. I had been looking forward to it all day. It and it alone.
The friend I was going to meet for the event and I are texting. She is willing but doesn’t really want to sit in traffic. I can’t blame her.
I still want to go, but I’ve been alone for going on 10 hours with my three youngest children who could care less what we do, my teenage son just went upstairs grumbling about going, my husband had plans to worship on his own that I was unaware of…
and I am so much more than tired.
I don’t have it in me to motivate one more person to worship Jesus today.
The overwhelm in the pit of me stings.
I can feel myself start to sweat across the bridge of my nose. It’s a symptom of my anxiety that signals the rope I’ve been free-sliding down all day is dangerously near its end. I don’t often pay attention to these signals, but I’m trying to learn.
I casually and half-sarcastically her text that I need to sit still for a moment to think.
“Maybe something brilliant will happen,” I joke with my friend.
So I sit, coaching myself toward calmness. Sort of.
Really I’m still trying to solve the problem of what to do when no one I want to be with wants to do anything I want to do. (Been there?)
Just be still. Be still. Get your sh-t together, Jen.
Then the phrase, “Be still and know,” pops into my head.
I laugh at myself. And that is why they say you should memorize Bible verses, I snark to myself.
I’m still sweating. I spread my fingers out wide on the rests of the chair. Get a grip, Jen.
But the armchair is cool and smooth and pleasant under my forearms. And I am actually still and breathing.
And now I’m also longing to be saved from this – for God to save me – when the phone rings.
It’s my neighbor.
A neighbor I’ve seen outside her home only a handful of times in seven years and have had dinner with exactly once. A neighbor with whom I have not shared my heart. A neighbor I have a wave-only relationship with, though I have recently come to realize how darling she truly is. A neighbor I was not expecting.
“Hi, Jen. Are you home? I have some daffodils.”
I’m sure I must have said something – phone pleasantries – but I could not tell you what.
Because just then God showed up.
“Can I bring them over?”
Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46: 8-11 NIV
Affirmation: Be still and know.
Scripture: Psalm 46: 8-11 NIV
Music for Reflection: Hills and Valleys