“There is something moving in you that needs to stop,” said my counseling professor to me many years ago. There is a hamster wheel speeding inside of me, often frenetic in motion, in great need of both slowing down and also of being still. The difficulty of stillness is the difficulty of faith and deep unresolved truth regarding in whom I place my trust.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3
When I am scurrying about frantically like a mouse or roaring in self-protection at others like a lion, it is because I am lacking much, feeling that my well being and provision is up to me to secure. It isn’t that I am consciously aware of that at the core, but here is how it plays out: I must get to the bottom of a riddle. I must aggressively complete a scavenger hunt. I must be the detective who cracks the case. I assume the role of shepherd. I can’t lie down with all of this to accomplish! How can I enjoy quiet waters when there is so much ground to cover, so many rocks to turn over? I must get to the bottom of “this” (whatever the most immediate puzzle is) and I must identify the bottom line so that I can correct it!
When I am my own shepherd or that for others, I assume responsibility for correcting/fixing/healing/redeeming/saving. It isn’t merely that this is not “my job” but I am in no way qualified or capable to do what only God can do.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom. 15:13
What strikes me in this is that trust doesn’t lead to bold courage to act but to hope in the power of the Holy Spirit to act. I can lie down in green pastures and enjoy quiet waters because my shepherd is doing the hunting and gathering, the guiding (not as in whispering hints and clues but actually walking in front and leading the way), the providing and the completing of all the work that must be done. When my heart begins to believe that it is in His righteousness that I stand and rest confidently, and not my own, that it is His shepherding that will protect, fix, heal and redeem, then I will be able to be quiet, still and at peace.
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. Is. 32:17