Choose to Be Still

The house was unusually quiet. The boys were engaged in their class Zoom session and our dynamic three year old was in the playroom happily entertained by the blissful chaos of barbies, duplo and nerf guns. I looked at the kitchen bench. Crowded with breakfast dishes and milo spills. The overflowing laundry basket, begging me to fold its never ending contents. And yet… I decided to seize this opportunity. This moment seemed almost too good to be true. I must admit, I did second guess my decision to leave the clutter and confusion, but surely it could wait for just a few more minutes.
Afraid to disturb the tranquillity, I grabbed my breakfast smoothie (the most efficient of breakfasts for a busy mum) and tiptoed to my bedroom, willing my bare feet to silence on the wooden floors. The word ‘guilt’ came to mind, as I hesitated before closing the door behind me. Knowing that my husband was nearby to assist with any calls for help, I settled on the floor next to my unmade bed. I crossed my legs, like the teacher’s pet I used to be, and closed my eyes, ready to be still before the Lord. Ready to spend time with Him, and to hear His voice.
Now don’t get me wrong, I talk to God a lot during my days. I pray in the shower, I ask for His guidance when my patience is getting thin, I cry out to him when my foot is pierced by a stray lego brick. We have conversations while I’m vacuuming, or on my way to comfort a grieving family. But today I realised something. It’s been a long while since I was still. Still in His presence. So this morning I CHOSE to be still. I was drawn to verse 10 of Psalm 46 which says “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
So I sat in the stillness, eyes comfortably closed, expectant to hear something profound from my Creator. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? Something inside of me was convinced that God would place a word of wisdom or an utterance of direction in my heart. So I waited. In the glorious silence, I paused. As I felt myself get a little impatient, I began to will God to speak. But nothing. So I continued to sit.
As I finally felt my body relax, a familiar sense of the Holy Spirit began to wash over me. As I gave in, a gentle whisper entered the silence. “We don’t need to talk, we just need to be.”
So we sat. My Father and I sat together, in the comfortable quiet. Secure silence with the One who loves me unconditionally. Everything seemed to fade away, and I was focussed on being with Him only. And it was so so good.
Who knows how long we sat, but as I naturally began to stir, I instinctively reached for my smoothie. Still in the relaxed presence of God, I grasped the glass in my hand, and God spoke once again: “Just as this drink will nourish your body, being still in my presence will nourish the whole of you.” How can something so familiar provide so much revelation? Such a simple thing, yet so needed.
So from now on I choose to abide rather than strive. There will always be someone to call, something to cook or clean, or someone that needs my attention. And I need to remind myself that I’m not being selfish when I choose to be still in the presence of my Saviour. I need to experience God’s presence in the stillness to learn to have the faith to experience His presence in the busyness and chaos. From today I CHOOSE TO BE STILL.
Stef Taylor
Stef is the Care and Community Life Pastor for Crossway’s South East Campus. She has been married to Sam for 14 years and they have two energetic boys aged 9 and 7, and a beautiful daughter who’s 3.