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Stillness: A New 'Frame' of Mind

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"Be still, and know that I am God ...” ( a, NIV).

When it comes to my relationship with God, if I am not in tune with Him, I tend to put up a fight. I like to defend my position, or I want to run ahead of Him without His permission, or I would rather go kicking and screaming into the next level of faith instead of letting go, as God had intended for me all along. Whatever the case, I am a flurry of movement, whether bodily or verbally.

Stillness isn’t something I naturally relate to. It is something I must consciously—with the help of Jesus—work at. Just drinking in God’s presence or waiting for Him to speak to me or even do things in me is difficult. It’s not that I am ADHD. It’s just that there are times when seemingly doing nothing (i.e., “being still” as I often wrongly understand it) makes me uncomfortably aware of just how empty I am and how impatient I can truly be.

But God, who is rich in mercy and ever mindful of my personality flaws, has a way of working into me the things that I cannot naturally understand myself. And so I will share an illustration with you about God’s gentleness that I hope will inspire you toward abiding in Him.

The Journal Entry

Praying for direction is something I do often. I want to know what God wants me to DO, because if I know what God wants me to DO, then I can plan. I have a goal, and with that goal, I have a sense of being in control of my destiny. I am secure in the knowledge of what is clearly expected of me.

Back in the beginning of 2004 , I spent a block of time seeking God for the next steps of my life, with the hopes of learning more specifics about my career path, my marital status, and any exciting adventures that God might have for me. Part of the message that I received from God was , but it didn’t really sink in. Though I wrote it down as part of my journal entry that January day, the message left but a whisper in my spiritual consciousness. I took it more as an afterthought than as the still, small voice of God.

Yet, this was exactly the message God had for me that year. I just didn’t know it yet. Not until God, in His creativity, repeatedly showed me. And the first avenue He used was art.

A Creative God Moment

I love art shows. I love the beauty and the originality of the different art media—pottery, paintings, crafts, metal work. It inspires the artist in me. So when I heard about an art show in Virginia Beach, I gladly headed out the door with my roommate, Cathy, to enjoy a wonderful outdoor feast for the senses.

We were about halfway through the exhibits when Cathy saw some artwork that caught her eye. I resisted the urge to move on ahead and followed her instead to peruse the small display of paintings. These garden-inspired paintings were on glass. Each painted glass panel was encased in a wooden frame, and inscribed on each wooden frame was a Scripture verse.

I liked the concept, so I too joined in rummaging through the bins to find the painting that had the particular Scripture verse that I felt best spoke to me. I had always loved and often quoted it over my life and the lives of others. Just to refresh your memory, it is the verse that begins “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord”. I always loved that verse because it portrays the active role God has in our lives. It was reassuring to know I wasn’t going to fly blind through life because God had a master plan for me that was good and hope-giving and prospering.

When I found the painting with the verse I wanted, I decided I didn’t like the color scheme at all. I disappointedly returned it to the bin. I wasn’t about to buy an ugly painting, no matter what the message.

I noticed that Cathy was contemplating a painting with more vibrant colors of red and yellow flowers. That’s more my style, I thought, secretly hoping that Cathy wouldn’t buy that one. My wish came true. Cathy found a more subdued picture that she liked better. Here was my chance. I picked up the discarded picture and carefully read the verse. I bet you can guess what it said:“Be still and know that I am God.”

Because I am prone to spiritual cluelessness, I didn’t recall my January journal entry. I bought that painting because it was pretty, took it home, and decided to nail it on my wall above the TV because that is where it looked best—nothing really spiritual about it to me.

Message Received

Fast forward a couple of months. During the Regent University alumni weekend in October, I sang in the alumni worship choir. The night of the worship service, the worship leader had everyone, including the choir, sit down and wait on the Lord to speak to our hearts. I was actually in the right attitude to listen, so I closed my eyes and waited for Him to speak.

And did He speak! His message to me was… well, by now you can probably guess. The third time must be the charm, as they say, because I finally started to get it. I began to understand that God was calling me away from performance, away from what I was most comfortable with: doing. I was a human being for a reason. If I were truly meant to do, do, do, then I would be called a human doing, wouldn’t I?

Instead of feeling empty or lacking inside or upset that God was holding me back from something, I simply felt God’s peace, something I desperately needed. I wasn’t chafing in God’s presence. I didn’t feel the need to do anything except exist in His presence. I felt His acceptance and wholeness. It was truly amazing.

I still have that picture hung where I can see it the moment I close my eyes at night and the moment my eyes open in the morning. It is a constant and visible reminder that I don’t need to do anything for God. He has done it all for me. I can simply be in His presence, knowing that He has my back, knowing that He will accomplish all that He wishes in His time and His way.

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About The Author


A Tennessee native, Laura first came to sunny Virginia Beach to attend graduate school at Regent University after a brief and exciting summer working in Yosemite National Park in California (whoo-hoo!). After graduating from Regent with a master's degree in communication (emphasis on film studies) and a master's degree in journalism (emphasis on photojournalism), Laura came to work for CBN as an Internet Producer. That is when she discovered she had a God-given talent for writing. Laura hopes to see the Body of Christ healed, whole, and actively pursuing a godly life full of wisdom, joy, and