Do you find it hard to be still? I certainly do, and it follows me right into my prayer life. Learning about God and serving him comes easy for me. However, sitting still with him is an area which is a continuous struggle for me. This month we plan to tackle the meaning and benefits of being still with God and ourselves. Hope you will join us as we take this journey.
To kick off our new series, I am excited to introduce you to Leslie Newman who blogs at Journey to Imperfect. It is such an honor to have Leslie share with us her insightful words through her post, “When Being Still is Uncomfortable, A Different Perspective.” After reading her post, I knew I couldn’t keep it to myself and wanted to share it with each of you.
When Being Still is Uncomfortable, A Different Perspective – Guest Post by Leslie Newman
I sat there on my back porch. It was quiet and soft and misty on a peaceful morning in the country. But I was so uncomfortable. I was fidgety and distracted, thinking of all the things I needed to do that day. I couldn’t believe I was having such a hard time being still after all this time.
I had made a commitment this particular week. (You can read about it HERE.) Each day I was going to work on consistently spending a few minutes in complete stillness and quiet, away from all distractions, just being with God. Although I was consistently studying His word and praying, I found that being completely still before Him was very difficult for me.
I was frustrated with myself. For heaven’s sake, I was writing to encourage other women in prayer and quiet time, and yet I was still having so much trouble with parts of that myself.
Inside the stillness, I realized I had taken busy right into my prayer life.
I had gone into my quiet times so focused on the tasks that I should be doing during that time that even there I had neglected the importance of stillness and quietness before God.
It was a hard concept for me to grasp. I had been trying so hard to slow down in other areas of my life, that I had entirely missed the most important one!
I had a couple of choices that day. I could take this new realization and berate myself for not being further along in letting go of busyness, or I can see it as a gift, a transformation point, the beginning of a new perspective. I choose the latter and thought on this verse:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
In Romans 12:2, the word transformed comes from the Greek word metamorphoó which means “change after being with.” You may also recognize that this Greek root word is also where we get our English word, metamorphosis.
The word renewing in this verse comes from the Greek word anakainósis which means “completing a process, to make fresh and new.”
If we combine those two key words we find that God is telling us to spend time with Him so that He can help us complete a process that will lead us to fresh and new ways of thinking.
Consider the changes that happen inside a cocoon before the butterfly emerges. The change happens over the course of several weeks, in a hidden and quiet place, so slowly that it can not be observed from the outside. A caterpillar, through a specific growth process and through the power of its creator God, is changed into a beautiful butterfly.
It is much the same in our own lives. If we remove ourselves from daily responsibilities and distractions and spend time alone with God in the stillness and quiet, we are making room in our lives for changes that need to happen. God will do this in the hidden places of the heart.
What God brings forth in the stillness is a gift.
It’s an opportunity to begin a growth process that leads to new perspectives and a renewal of the mind.
Sometimes this kind of renewal and transformation comes soft and easy like the warm spring breezes that crossed my porch that day. More often, it will come to us under much more difficult circumstances.
Regardless, we have a responsibility to answer this high calling.
Let’s make a commitment to step out of being busy and let’s find a few short minutes of quiet in our lives. Let’s spend those moments in stillness before God.
For a few minutes today, let’s spend time being instead of doing.
If we will, we’ll find that there is room for God to show us areas we need to work on, and by His power, our minds can be renewed and our perspectives will be in the better places.
If you click on the verse reference above you will be taken to Bible Gateway where you can find other study helps to further your understanding of this passage.
Do you have a hard time will stillness like I do? If so, will you make a commitment to join me this week in finding those quiet places where we can work on spending time just being with God?
Dear Heavenly Father, We ask you to help us today. It is so hard to stop, to let go of our responsibilities, to get away from all the distractions for a few moments so that we can be still before You. We ask you to clear our minds and help us begin to find you in the stillness and quiet. Open our hearts to what you may be showing us there. Give us courage to follow through, to take what we find and begin to pray over it and work through it. Guide us and lead us always toward You in all areas of our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.
*This post – When Being Still is Uncomfortable, A Different Perspective, was shared with permission. It originally appeared on Journey to Imperfect.
Please meet my friend –
Leslie Newman is a wife, mother, writer, friend, and recovering perfectionist. She spends her days home educating, reading, writing, and hunting wildflowers on her farm in rural Kentucky. Drop by and visit her at her blog, www.journeytoimperfect.com, where she talks about faith, prayer, and letting go of perfect. Leslie can be found on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Join us this month at Embracing the Unexpected as we discover what it means to “Be Still.”
Click here to subscribe and receive posts straight to your inbox along with a small gift
Click here to see our monthly favorites on the topic.