The entire week had been extremely intense. Things very deliberately and systematically began happening, one after the other. I felt like I just couldn’t take any more surprises or blindsides. Stress was coming from work, church, family, and within. My anxiety level was a constant focus of control through prayer and worship. My emotions were on a roller coaster. I went to get a massage, and for an hour my body was sleeping, but my mind was wide awake. I started getting sick the day my mom was leaving the hospital. Yep…..that happened that week too. Gradually the symptoms of stress and anxiety produced a physical illness. By Saturday, I felt like a train had hit me, but home remedies and Theraflu were helping me cope.
I pressed my way to church because duty called. I have never been one to make excuses that cannot be avoided. I felt like I could still lead praise and worship…..So I did. I pressed in, and poured out all of my experiences that week. I was really broken. And it caused me to give everything that I had in worship. I was ever aware and humbled by my need for God, and his need for me. Because I could feel his need for me. I could feel him confirming the season that I was in. I could feel him confirming the development that he was involved in. I could feel that my horrible week, was very much purposeful.
Some say: “It’s not about you, it’s all about him.” But I have learned that’s not true. IT IS ABOUT YOU. It’s ALL about you. He’s fine. He’s the same. He hasn’t every changed his mind or who he is. WE are typically the issue. And I have always had issues. I just typically don’t know what they are until my process reveals the new one that needs to go. So it was about me, and the new thing that God was after in my life. He was prompting a surrender.
Sometime ago I woke up, walked into the bathroom, and I typically talk to God in the mornings while getting ready. Before I could even get the sleep out of my eyes, I heard the Lord say: “…..JUST BE QUIET.”
It felt like a “SHUT UP!”…….just like a loud shut your trap.
I stopped in my tracks, and as I accepted the instruction, I realized that it was something that I’d understand as I obeyed. Later that day a police officer reprimanded me for Jay-Walking at my job. He told me that he’d have to fine me as he had others. He was overdoing his job, and it thoroughly annoyed me. Sarcasm comes as natural to me, as sleeping does to cats. And it’s even worse when in situations like this. Jay-Walking?!?!......really? But in that moment, the “just be quiet” came back to me. I listened to him correct me. And I apologized with a smile on my face, but gritted teeth in my heart. He decided to not give me a $75 ticket.
As the church worshipped, and rested on my knees, and I could feel God prompting me to exchange myself for everything that he is. He’d been dealing with me for some time about taking up my cross, and following him, not the path that I created, hoping he’d follow me. I made very solid commitments to God regarding my willingness to be led. 5 minutes later, the atmosphere of the service changed to radical worship, as I followed the leading of the Spirit giving the word of the Lord to the Congregation, it was the last time that I spoke full voice for two days. My voice left. For two days I walked around mute. I didn’t realized how much I’d hollered at my children, until I couldn’t. I didn’t realized how many meaningless conversations I’d get into, until I couldn’t. I didn’t realized how much I talked in prayer, instead of listening, until I couldn’t. I didn’t realized how much I missed not observing, because I was busy talking……Until I couldn’t. God was silencing me, to give him the opportunity to speak. He took my voice to give me his. This is the surrender that he was after. Once I realized this, my voice slowly began to return. But with it came a new understanding and appreciation for being told to “be quiet”. He takes to give. He silences us so that he can speak. It’s not a punishment. It’s a promotion.
What is God after today? And are you willing to lose to give it to him? Every loss is a gain with God. View it this way, and you’ll be happy to hear: “Just be quiet.”