Be Still!

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock from Ecola Point, Oregon

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock from Ecola Point, Oregon

I believe that one of the reasons God takes His people out into the wilderness is to get them away from the distractions around them.

Views of Death Valley from Telescope Peak, California

Views of Death Valley from Telescope Peak, California

In the time of the Old Testament, the distractions were real: if you didn’t work, you didn’t eat.  So you farmed, herded sheep or goats, made pottery, or whatever else you could do to make a living.

Wheat at Howell Living History Farm, New Jersey

Wheat at Howell Living History Farm, New Jersey

We’re very familiar with the distractions of our time.  Work, school, the kids’ practices and events, social media, TV, advertisements everywhere… it’s hard to get away from it.

A very frozen Lake of the Clouds, New Hampshire

A very frozen Lake of the Clouds, New Hampshire

A number of times in the Bible, God says to His people, “Be still!”  The most famous passage is in Psalm 46, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (v.10).  And again in Psalm 37, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” (v.7).  In Exodus 14, “Do not be afraid… you need only to be still.” (vv.13-14).

Walking the dunes at Manchester Beach State Park, California

Walking the dunes at Manchester Beach State Park, California

There is a precious quality about being still before the Lord.  It prepares our hearts for Him to come to us, and it prepares the way for God to move on our behalf.

Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Yet it is so hard to be still in the midst of distractions.  So God calls His people out into the wilderness for a season.  There, away from the distractions, He can finally be alone with us: nurture us, speak to us, heal us, and help us grow.

Rejoicing our success in Double O Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

Rejoicing our success in Double O Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

It’s one of the things I love about long hikes: there is time to be still, to not worry about the next trail junction or staying together in the hordes of people.  (See? We can even find distractions in the wilderness if we don’t still our hearts!)

Lupines near the Brewer Creek Trail on Mt. Shasta, California

Lupines near the Brewer Creek Trail on Mt. Shasta, California

It still takes a stilled heart to enter into the stillness God has for us. Letting go of the distractions, surrendering to the peace God has placed in the wilderness, we can enter into the rest that He has created for us in the wild places so we can be with Him in that place.

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