You know those crazy moments in life? Company is on the way, your house is a mess, and you really aren’t in the mood to have guests anyway. In fact, what you’d like to do more than anything else is curl up in the fetal position and have a good cry. If you could actually get into a fetal position, that is.
I was having one of those moments a few weeks ago. I was beyond tired and everything seemed like such an effort. I felt drained physically and emotionally. And I would have been pretty happy to rewind the clock about 16 months to a pre-cancer time period. And yes, company was on the way.
I am usually a little reticent when it comes to reaching out to someone and saying, “I could really use some prayer here,” but that’s what I did in that pre-company moment. I sent a quick text message to a friend from church quickly explaining the situation and said, “I need prayer.” It was a “talk-to-text” message that I didn’t even have time to proofread before sending. When I look back at it I can see that not only was it a horribly written message but I did indeed sound somewhat out-of-control. Mostly I just desperately wanted to stop crying before our company arrived.
My sweet friend responded with these words: “Close your eyes, look at Him. Shhhh. Peace. He has you in His loving hands. Let this truth sink in.” And, most likely because she knows me pretty well, she sent a second message, “Really, please close your eyes and encounter Him. It’s the most important thing.” Does that not just fill you with calm even as you read it? Such great advice! It is exactly what I needed to do. Mind you, I didn’t do it because our company showed up almost immediately after I read her text, but still, just knowing she cared and was praying for me gave me some peace. I was able put my happy face on and enjoy the evening with our friends.
But the truth is, I’m not so good at the whole shhhhh thing. No doubt this is why I have high blood pressure. God, of course, knew there were going to be people like me because He made it a point to tell us to take time with Him. Look at these verses:
- “Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10
- “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11
- “You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” Psalm 27:8
- “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8
- “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
- Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalm 105:4
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as they say, of Bible verses that remind and encourage us to seek God’s face, seek his strength, and seek his peace. God promises us peace when we slow down and focus on Him. Promises! And I find it to be true every time I remember to actually do what He asks of me.
I’m sure there are days when God is just watching me thinking, “I wonder how long it’s going to take Nancy this time to remember to ‘be still?’” Truth be told, He’s probably not “wondering” at all. He probably knows exactly how long it’s going to take me and He’s just waiting it out thinking, “Come on, baby girl, you have all the tools you need to take your focus off your trials and turn it back on Me. I know you can do this.” (I like to think God calls me “baby girl” as he cheers me on. And really, who besides God can call me “baby girl” at this point in my life?)
Eventually I get it together and remember His promises come with the command to turn my face towards Him. And once again the words of the old song ring true:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
I hope you have a good friend like mine to say to you, “Close your eyes, be still, shhhh, God has you in His hands.” If you don’t, can I be that friend today? I promise you, you will never regret the time you spend in His presence. Promise!
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.