A few canvases from a Take heART Party last weekend
I had the opportunity to lead an art party over the weekend on the theme of “Be Still” (Psalm 46). In preparing for the evening, I was blessed myself in studying the context of the Psalm. I revisited some things personally, that I had nearly forgotten in the rush of a busy life. It is good to regroup occasionally, and reassess our spiritual lives. Knowing where we are is the fountain of shalom peace – wholeness, well-being – because, in truth, we are all a work in progress. Thank God we are not who we once were, and thank God He is not done with us yet!
We all have unfinished places inside of us. Places of pain, we’d like to avoid. Hard places, we don’t want to deal with – and don’t know where to begin if we did. Being still is being willing to let God see those places. Bringing our naked needs and desires, our frustrations and tears, our disappointments and fears, before Him. Expecting Him not only to hear, but to know. To know us better than we know ourselves, and to trust in His Sovereign care. His utter dependability in all things. Underneath are the Everlasting Arms that hold us together when we think we are falling apart. He is the Rock that stands, when all other ground is sinking sand.
And sinking is often our first response to our unfinished places. We shrink back, recoiling in on ourselves, in a futile attempt at self-preservation. This is equivalent to Adam and Eve sewing the fig leaves – a completely failed attempt to hide their nakedness before an all-knowing God. We forget that life comes only from Him, and in Him. We have no ability to bear fruit in ourselves. Apart from Him we really can do nothing. And nothing means nothing. Nada. Zilch. It takes awhile to get this truth from head to heart.
We are all sun-scorched plants in the vineyard of the Lord, a planting for His own glory. Let us remember He is our shade, our water, our good soil in which we grow. Let us turn toward Him, not away. Turn and be healed; be willing to wait in His presence for as long as it takes. Trust Him with your unfinished places. Trust in His timing. Trust Him with that thing that seems too big for you, that you fear might swallow you whole. Trust that He is bigger than your need and fully in charge of your life. Trust that He has a good purpose for what He allows, and His purposes will stand – forever. Just as you will stand in Him.
I had a vision of myself as I meditated on Jesus’ words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:38). I see Jesus approaching and I am like a cornered mare. I have been tethered, saddled, and backed into a corner. Jesus extends a hand, approaching slowly, as I snort and stomp and inch further back into my stall. Slowly, purposely, He steps closer; speaking softly, kindly, as He ever-so carefully rests His hand upon my head. His touch instantly calms the wild inside me, and the peace I feel witnesses to His absolute trustworthiness. I am going to be ok. He knows exactly what He is doing in my life.
“Be still and know” – Psalm 46:10.
Trust the Lord with all your heart, even in the wild, unchartered places within “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6).