"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 48:10 NIV
"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." IS 40:31 NKJV
Several weeks ago I had the privilege of leading a group of 14 college students and leaders from Houston, Texas on a week-long adventure in Big Bend National Park. Toward the close of our time together we participated in an exercise called SOLO time. All of the students and leaders were assigned a spot along a thousand foot high cliff with a vertical relief of over a mile. From this vantage point high above the desert floor they could see deep into Mexico and witness the hazy outline of the majestic Sierra Madre over fifty miles away. Each participant was given a spot where they couldn’t see another person and given an unspecified amount of time to sit a commune with God. Their watches were collected and all they were allowed to have with them was a pen, a journal, a Bible, and a water bottle.
This exercise is often excruciatingly difficult for participants. In our modern day society with all our technological gadgetry, we have an almost infinite amount of distractions. We’ve forgotten how to well….just be. As we were debriefing the experience and talking about the SOLO prompt (Still, Observe, Listen, Obey), one of the students shared just how frustrating the time of stillness was for her personally. At one point, she yelled out, “God where are you?” At that moment a strong and cool gust of wind lifted up off the desert below and took her breath away. She was reminded that God was present and intimately involved in her life.
In his book Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster speaks to the forgotten discipline of Solitude: “One reason we can hardly bear to remain silent is that it makes us feel so helpless. We are so accustomed to relying upon words to manage and control others. If we are silent, who will take control? God will take control, but we will never let Him take control until we trust Him. Silence is intimately related to trust.”
Do you trust God enough to be still and silent in His presence? Do you find regular times to get away from all the distractions, get out in nature and just be with God? May you find some time this week to wait and upon the Lord, be still and listen to Him. You may be surprised by just how He will show up!
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