Be Still

Dropped stitchI was working on a knitting project late one evening and found what looked like a dropped stitch. Past experience taught me that trying to fix things when I’m tired only leads to more problems, so I used a stitch marker to hold it in place and put it away. I was frustrated because I was almost done with the project and wouldn’t be back at the yarn shop until after the weekend. The next morning I pulled out the project to look at it in the light of day and realized there actually wasn’t a problem, just some pulled threads, and any “fixing” I might have done would have made a problem where there hadn’t been one. I was able to finish the project over the weekend and move on to something new.

What is your first response when you encounter an obstacle or problem? Do you go into Ostrich Head in Sandproblem-solving mode? Do you get stick your head in the sand? For most people, we either hide from the problem, pretending it doesn’t exist, or we try to jump in and solve the problem using our own abilities. While this is the human approach, it is not necessarily the best way.

 

Parting Red SeaWhen the children of Israel left Egypt, the Pharaoh’s army followed them, leaving them trapped between the army and the Red Sea. The people cried out in fear, “13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. 14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:14). God parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could pass over on dry land, and then the water fell on their enemies and destroyed them without them lifting a finger.

When we face problems, it is tempting to try and take control of the situation; however, if we stand still, God will fight the battle for us. Our first instinct is to DO something, but God’s Word tells us to stand still and watch God work. We often want to jump in and straighten things out, but we often just make the situation worse.

Psalms 46:10 says, “10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” The translation of “be still” has the added meaning of releasing your grip. Instead of holding tighter to the reins of control, release your grip and let God have His way in the situation. Then sit back in faith and watch Him do things you never dreamed of or thought possible. The Israelites certainly didn’t expect the water to part before them and their enemies to be drowned but God always had a plan. They just needed to have the faith to step forward in obedience.

So the next time you face a problem or an obstacle, instead of panicking or jumping in, take a moment to be still and let God take the lead. Then we can rest in the knowledge that, no matter what comes, God is in control and will work it out to our good (Jeremiah 29:11). The bright light of morning may reveal that the problem only existed in our perception of the situation and a little time allowed the stitches to fall into place so that we can move forward once again.

Sunrise

I Do It Myself

If you have ever spent any time around a toddler, you will hear these words: “I do it myself.” Usually, it is something that the child cannot do themselves despite all of the determination in the world. Sometimes it is even a little comical watching them. I have to wonder if God sometimes laughs to himself when watching us say “I do it myself.”

We all prefer to feel self-sufficient. We don’t want to need anyone. We often love giving to people because it makes us feel good, makes us feel needed. However, we just as often don’t like being on the receiving end because it makes us feel vulnerable. We prefer thinking that we are bullet-proof. It feels safer.

The truth is that we need help. We need God. He isn’t some capricious entity who likes to play with us like a cat toying with a mouse before it moves in for the kill. He is a loving father who only wants to help us, a help we need despite our determination to do it alone.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Grace is an unearned gift. We can’t do anything to deserve it or earn it. We can only receive it. Once we have grace, then we can share it with others, but we have to remember that it is God’s grace and not our own. We can’t do it alone.

Maybe it is time to hand God the thing we are trying to do alone, and let Him help. Like a loving father, He is waiting for us to ask and relinquish our grip so that He can do a work beyond what we ever imagined accomplishing alone.