He quiets my soul
Brenda Nail DeLauder
I needed quiet, yet everywhere I turned I only found more noise. On the porch I tried to ignore the sounds of heavy construction and highway traffic coming from far away, but the lawn service next door sent me back into the house. It was then I realized the noise wasn’t only coming from outside, but inside my head as well. Being still escaped me and I couldn’t seem to calm the restlessness. There was no particular troubling problem, yet peace seemed to evade me. Prayer time, which normally offers me a moment of stillness, did not. So why was I in such a state of unrest? Was it something I had left undone? Was it something I could change? I wasn’t finding any answers, only a swirl of questions which seemed to be multiplying.
“Be still.” I heard a quiet voice say those two words this morning in the middle of my talk with Jesus. It was not my first time to hear them, but it had been awhile. It’s funny really. All during the holiday season, when there were so many additional activities and projects going on, I had managed to make time to be still and gain my balance. Once the new year started and things slowed down a bit, I seemed to have forgotten the importance of finding time to focus on silence.
Finding quiet, can take varying amounts of time. If I am paying attention and remembering to allow a quick “be still” break here and there, it’s really mere minutes I need. If it has gotten to the point of losing sleep, then it may take a little longer. The quiet I seek, usually includes nature. I head outside, find a favorite spot and stop thinking. Oh yes, it is easier said than done, but I ask God to take away my thoughts and let me be in His comforting peaceful presence. I usually listen to the birds, letting their calls and cheerful songs become a soothing balm washing over me. The clarity of their voices increases while all other sounds fade away. I don’t pray during this time other than to ask Christ to be with me. I know I have gained the stillness I seek when the Holy Spirit fills me with a peace which passes all understanding.
Whenever I have gone through a spell of forgetting to find the time to be still, I start making excuses of why I haven’t managed to get to it. Yet in reality, the time it takes is more like a blink of an eye. Even when life is rushing at us like a linebacker, it is possible to conquer any schedule and fit those few moments in. It is crucial to shut off the brain, meaning it is not the time to make up the grocery list or plan out a schedule. It is not the time to work out a problem or even to pray. It is simply the moment to be still. Breathe as necessary, but otherwise stop. Shutting your eyes or keeping them open is optional, but opening your mind, to hear the sounds of nature or just quiet nothingness, is most important. Then let go and let God take over.
True inner peace, which calms all turmoil filling our hearts and minds, can only come from God. He is a wonderfully gracious Lord who helps us through everything if only we ask. A race car needs to stop for fuel in order to finish the race. We too must find those moments to refuel in silent closeness with Christ. Letting Him quiet our soul will always refresh and renew our spirit!
Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.