Strivings and Ceasings

Cease striving and know that I am God . . . (Psalm 46:10a NASB)

Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10 AMP)

Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
    breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.” (Psalm 46:8-10 The Message)

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When we were living on the boat, we literally were in constant motion. The movement of the water dictated by the tides and the winds kept the boat swaying. Our awareness of the motion depended on the conditions. Most of the time we didn’t perceive it, except when the winds picked up or we were on solid ground. On shore, if we were walking or sitting sometimes we felt an inner sway. So while living on a boat, it was nearly impossible to be still.

That got me to thinking about what did God really mean, when he inspired the Psalmist to pen those familiar words “Be still, and know…”

A long time ago, I came across the NASB translation: “Cease striving…” And that seems more fitting. And if you read it in context, God is saying, trust me I am in control. I will put an end to wars and strife. I will be exalted. I will have the attention of the whole world. Just wait and see.

Very comforting promises, but not completely fulfilled yet. So I cling to the first line of the phrase, like so many others before me. What does it mean to “cease striving, and know?” What does it look like in everyday life? Life that compels us to move. Life that requires us to be in constant motion, responding to the currents of birthdays and graduations, mornings and evenings, up and downs, and observings of seasons. How can we be still?

It occurs to me that it comes back to the Practice of the Presence of God that Brother Lawrence perfected over his lifetime. It’s an inner attitude, a soul focus that gazes upon the Most High God, who longs for us to lean on Him in all things. To trust Him, like a seaworthy vessel that is made to weather the high seas, the low tides and the moderate chops of life.

Whether we are wintering in the harbor or travelling the seas, we can trust that He commands the winds and sends both the storms and the calm to draw us closer to Him.

The transition from sailor to land lubber, from summery weather to biting winter has not been easy, but the Creator of all woos me to the ADVENTURE each day. He gently calls to you and to me.

Child, dear sweet child: Cease striving. Come sit with me awhile. Come walk in the light of my love. Live the adventure. Look around and see what I am doing. Join me. Work with me. Rest with me. Enjoy the offerings of my love, my grace, my mercy, my ways and my thoughts. Come, let us reason together. Come, let us create memories together. Come, let us invite others to join in the journey towards eternity and everlasting peace, wholeness and satisfaction in My Presence.

I may not be able to walk along the causeway soaking in the sun, searching for shells or soaring with the sounds of surf and gull, but I can walk with God wherever I live.

Yesterday, I walked to our library. I noticed that I could walk to several places to enjoy a cup of coffee. I could take our dog to the vet via foot. I could even walk to my dentist appointment, if I so chose. I want to cease striving, and know that God is with me wherever I move.

Photos from my walk with God along the causeway of my current surroundings:

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photo 2-010 photo 5-003 photo 5-004photo 4-007

4 thoughts on “Strivings and Ceasings

  1. Kel: Thank you for the wonderful message you gave here. I like the thought of ‘cease striving.’ When our son was having a difficult time finding work that lasted or any work at all (several times in his adult life) I was devastated and angry about his situation. One January morning my devotions led me to Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I found I could relax and enjoy having him with us. God did find him work, 600 miles away. He relocated 4 years ago, yesterday. He is scheduled to return to our home state in early April. I praise God for the experience he and we have had.

    1. Cecelia, I love how God spoke to you through His word to calm your spirit, while you waited to see how God was going to work and continues to work in your son’s life. I pray for a wonderful time of reunion and rejoicing in God’s provision!

  2. Oh, it looks a bit colder in these pictures that the ones we are used to!! I love your image at the top – did you make that?

    Be still, I love that prayer! Saying it slowly always brings about an inner calm to help see things more clearly and remember that God has it covered!

  3. Victoria- So nice to hear from you…yes winter is colder here in St. Louis ara, today we are getting the gift of snow! The top image is a picture from the cover of a catalog…I took a picture of it and then edited it in picasa a free google photo manager and editing program.

    I agree when I cease striving that’s when I am more aware of the inner calm. I am looking forward to Lent reflections soon…I saw you are preparing…I’m going to pop over and read it! Blessings-Kel

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