When Kaci was small we had a wonderful Australian Shepherd named Bear. He had been badly abused when we adopted him and made him a member of our family. He had trust issues to say the least. We were given the name of a good trainer and once a week I took him to class. It didn’t take long for him and I to learn to work together. The commands of sit and stay were some of the first we worked on. He needed to know that when I gave those commands he could TRUST that I wasn’t going to leave him or beat him into obedience.
Presently I am in a sit still stage of my life. I’m not doing it very well. I have things to do, places to go, people to meet and minister too and God is saying “Sit Still”. I have learned in the past and am learning again that it’s just as important to be obedient to that command as it is to “love thy neighbor” or “pray without ceasing”.
If you know me at all you know I always have a list – things need to be done! I don’t do SIT – STAY very well. Years ago I read a book by Tim Hansel, “When I Relax I Feel Guilty”, that describes me to a tea. Retirement isn’t easy for a “list person”. I had a very dear friend tell me that it’s just as important to wait as it is to march forward. Both have their place but we have to be obedient to what God is saying and when He’s saying it.
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” Psalm 46:10-11
The children of Israel had a tangible, visible sign that they followed. The Lord placed a cloud over the Tabernacle and when it moved the moved; and when it stayed they stayed.
“Sometimes the cloud was over the Holy Tent for only a few days. So the people obeyed the LORD’s command—they followed the cloud when it moved. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only during the night—the next morning the cloud moved. So the people gathered their things and followed it. If the cloud moved, during the day or during the night, they followed it. 22 If the cloud stayed over the Holy Tent for two days, a month, or a year, the people stayed at that place. They did not leave until the cloud moved. When the cloud rose from its place and moved, they also moved. 23 So the people obeyed the LORD’s commands. They camped when the LORD told them to, and they moved when he told them to. They watched carefully and obeyed the LORD’s commands to Moses” Number 9:21-23 ERV
Obedience! That’s the key. We say “Lord, speak to me and I’ll do whatever you tell me to do.” And then He speaks something so simple as to stay – rest and we sit for 15 minutes and then want to get up and get back to our normal routine. It’s hard to rest!
Once again it’s the Holy Spirit teaching obedience and most of the time obedience involves crucifying the flesh. God’s way of doing things is generally contrary to the natural way. He told Joshua to march around a city and they would capture it – Jesus told us to achieve greatness we must strive to be a servant. Paul said when I am weak then am I strong. See – these things seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, but that’s God’s way.
I’m learning and I imagine I will be learning this lesson again. I hope what I am being taught will encourage you when it comes your turn to “rest”.
“The LORD is good and merciful;
our God is so kind.
6 The LORD takes care of helpless people.
I was without help, and he saved me.
7 My soul, relax!
The LORD is caring for you.” Psalm 116:5-7 ERV