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Life has been a little crazy lately - being a single Mom, working 70 hours a week, trying to finish off all my college prerequisites by August, taking care of health situations, and working on some selfcare in-between. Just stopping to take a few breaths seems like something I need to plan at times!

There have been wonderful things happening from all the 'happenings' in my life, however. I have two amazing teens, I have been building my savings and my credit, I've saved up for a family trip, I am finally getting back on track with health issues I've been putting off for months, my schoolwork is coming along (doing my coursework during my night shifts), I was awarded a partial scholarship this last week from my Alumni Association (SO EXCITED!) and I am starting to make better attempts towards getting out.

All those wonderful things being achieved, I still have to remind myself that there is a magnificent victory in stillness - far greater than any of the victories achieved in busyness.

The Bible constantly reminds us of benefits of meditating on God's Word, of being still, and of purposefully neglecting the distractions around us.

I feel like it takes more effort to slow down

than it does to speed up.

Most of us are familiar with the verse in Psalm 46 that says, "Be still and know that I am God." But, before that verse, God tells us descriptively of all that He does for us - so that we can rest and should rest and be still - BECAUSE He already has it all taken care of.

Before the "be still" we are reminded of WHY we can rest :

God is our refuge and strength,

He is ever-present and our help.

We can be still because we don't have to fear!

It doesn't matter if the earth gives way

or the mountains fall or the waters rage!

We can be still because God provides streams that make glad the city of God.

Nations may be in an uproar with whole kingdoms falling

but we can be still because the Lord is our fortress!

He both brings desolation, and He makes wars cease.

He breaks the weapons our enemies create.

It's not only that we can be still - but that we should be.

And not only that we should be - but that we need to be.

In Exodus 14, the Egyptians were chasing Moses and the Israelites, and the fear and anger were unmistakable as the Israelites screamed at Moses, "Weren't there enough graves in Egypt? You brought us out here to die! We were better off being slaves!"

Moses answered with these commands:

Do not be afraid.

Stand firm.

You need to be still.

In Psalm 4, David desperately calls for God to answer him and to give him relief. As in this Psalm, we tend to think on things as we lay down each night and the day begins to catch up to us. In this Psalm, David reminds us that, no matter what we are feeling or what is going on around us, as we lay down and end our day, we need to "Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent."

It's through searching our hearts - putting everything out there to God - and by being silent, that we can let God work on us and speak to us.

There is such strength in what seems like a delicate thing.

Can strength be found in silence?

Yes. The quiet times are a type of surrender

- when we set our hearts and minds on Him.

God doesn't always speak through fire and wind

but, sometimes, through a still small voice.

"The Lord said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper."

R.C. Sproul said, "Prayer is to the Christian what breath is to life, yet no duty of the Christian is so neglected."

There is so much that can be found by intentionally getting in the quiet spaces with God. After some quiet, talking with God is our way to show our appreciation, love, and to water with our own words our relationship with God. I think that quietness and prayer go hand-in-hand. And it is a beautiful mix.

May we all make time to soak in quiet surrender - surrender of our time, our words, our thoughts to Him. God has a unique way of repairing what is broken, in His time, with His strength, and, often, in our silent places. Being still is more productive than we often understand.

With love,

Sarah Jane

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