If you've just joined us in 31 Days to Be Still, welcome. And thank you. (Note that while I am officially winding down in this series, your 31 Days doesn't have to be limited to a calendar month. You can dedicate any 31 days of the year to slowing down and soaking up God's goodness.)
If you've been here since the beginning, or with any amount of consistency, thank you. You've seen there are many ways to be still, many ways to approach God's stillness. There is no one right way. But there are undoubtedly methods to faith-filled mindfulness and meditation that feel more comfortable for you.
Your quiet time is not going to look like my quiet time. It's going to fit you, uniquely and delightfully, and it's going to form in you a deeper faith.
Faith is not a one-size fits all business. We each have our unique gifts and talents and issues. We dwell in our own particular stage and status. God doesn't ask us to conform to one set of rules for stillness. He brings his stillness to wherever, however we make the sacred space to be slow.
So take from this series what works for you. Uniquely created, deeply loved you.
God works through all kinds of people in all kinds of ways. He always has. In his infinite wisdom he created a myriad of personality types — more than can fit in a Myers-Briggs matrix. A cursory walk through the Bible shows how he shines through every type of flawed-but-faithful person.
Each person mirrors a glimmer of God's image. Imagine how comfortable God is when he dwells in you — a person who reflects a part of him like no one else can.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27Because you are made in God's image, because you are designed and loved by the Heavenly Creator, you are enough, today and every day. You do not have to be perfect to be still with God. You do not have to have perfect attendance or a perfect understanding of his word or a perfect approach to prayer. You just have to be willing to open up for God to work in your mind and heart and soul.
And in these willing moments of stillness, in these soul-stirring moments of quiet time, all you have to be is you. Completely silent? No. Completely focused? Try again. Completely faithful? Good luck. We are not complete on our own. It is God who completes us. So just offer up yourself, all that you are in this present time, to all that God wants you to be.
Invite God to work his wonder. To produce his peace. To stir his strength. To unleash his love.
He will come into the still place you create.
|James 4:8 | ibibleverses.christianpost.com|
Talk and ponder. Question and wonder. In doodles or songs. In prayers or journals. In exercise zen or physical rest. In silences God fills with his own sighs. In ramblings God orders with his higher reason.
And watch as God fills you up with joy and love, with grace and peace. Watch as he makes you shine in such a way that makes you completely you. Completely beyoutiful.
Ann Voskamp poetically notes where our beauty truly lies. It resides in how God works our successes and our deficiencies into "the best loving plan" for our fulfillment. As she says, "God is turning everything around to turn you into the beauty He knows you are. The world will say they love you if you are beautiful — but the truth is you are beautiful because you are loved."
You are beautiful because you are loved by God.
|gabrijoystudios via Etsy.com|
Be you, imperfect and messy, earnest and hopeful, in your moments of being still. Be still and breathe in God's love. Breathe out God's peace. Breathe it in artistic color or lyrical song, in measured reason or spontaneous laughter, in loving gestures or humble service, in rich Bible study or resonating prayers.
And use these sacred moments like a launching pad for the next chapter of your precious and unique faith story. Whatever your talents and gifts, whatever your leanings and callings, may your moments of stillness with your Savior inspire you to live out your faith as only you can.
Thank you for making me exactly as I am. Thank you even more for loving me exactly as I am.
Today, in our moment of stillness together, I want to rest comfortably in your love. I want to get comfortable in my own skin. Content where I am in this age and stage, in this space and place. Content with where I am in my faith journey. Content because I am with you, and you are always right here alongside me. All I need is to slow down, to look up, and to invite your peaceful presence.
Your peaceful presence.
Thirty days is enough to remind me that I need to be still with you. Every day. In word. In prayer. In meditation. In listening. I need this time with you so that I can be fully me — not the spread-thin slice of me that reacts with flawed reflexes, but Spirit-sown-deep me that responds with the fullness of Christ.
Help me, in this particular day, to be me. Child of God. Uniquely made. Purposefully knit together for your higher plan. Help me to see where I can reveal and share my particular story about your love and grace, about your good news. Keep me shining, in my own special way, with your radiant light.