Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stop, Still, and Listen

My little one kept leaning forward, looking over the bench.  After many attempts to hold him back while I laced up my tennis shoes, I heard myself.  Stop Blake!  Sit still.  Listen to me.  Do you want to fall?  I'm trying to keep you from getting hurt!  Now, before you think I'm completely ridiculous for speaking to a one-year-old, who's just learning words, as if he'd understand me, let me assure you:  I already know!  I heard myself and laughed almost immediately.  But, then I heard the words again, inside my own heart.  Stop!  Sit still.  Listen to me.  Do you want to fall?  Because...I'm trying to keep you from getting hurt.  

I heard those words in my own heart, as if God had said them.  Then I realized that he has said those words to me, many times over.  Stop.  Sit still.  Be still.  Listen to me.  I love you and what I want for you is for your good.  I don't want you to lean past me or go ahead of me.  I am trying to keep you from being hurt.  But how often do I listen?  How often do I trust that he wants the best for me?  How often do I believe that he really cares whether I fall or not?  Ouch!  The not-so-pretty reality is that I find myself, at times, in a place where I need to go back to the basics of trust.  Pure trust.

For me (and for most of us), trusting in my Heavenly Father is linked to a slew of other life issues, experiences, and relationships...and how I have perceived them.  I wish it was easier.  I wish I could trust inherently.  But, that's not the case.  I read a statement earlier that confronted me, once more, with the struggle that I face again and again:  Until we settle what we believe is true about God's character, we will always question his motives.*  

In this, I am like a little child, learning to trust and fully believe that my parents want to keep me from hurt and harm...that they want the best for me.  They aren't simply trying to rain on my parade.  My one-year-old is learning the word no, but he doesn't like it.  There are adventures in cabinets and under furniture and leaning over benches that he would like to have.  But he has to learn to trust that I see the bigger picture.  I see what can happen if he leans too far over the bench.  He has to learn to listen to my voice.

The hilarious irony for me is that I don't want full-rein of my life; I find great comfort in knowing there is a God who is ultimately the author of it all. Yet, at times I fail to believe that he wants the best for me.  Sadder still, at times I doubt his love for me.  When I have moved ahead of him--when I have chosen to take the reins rather than wait to hear his prompting--it has invariably left me hurt and wanting a do-over.  When will I learn?!

Answer:  when I sit still and listen to him.  When I slow down the chaos of my life to just sit.  And breathe.  And be.  Because if I can still myself and my thoughts long enough, I will hear gentle reminders of his love.  If I will just be still.  If I will just listen.  

There is a God who loves me and you.  He loves me even more than I love my babies.  He is capable of far more perfect love than I can give.  He longs to protect us, and give us good gifts, and see us made whole from worlds of mistrust and abuse.  But, until we settle what we believe is true about him, we won't fully trust him.  People have and will let us down--that's inevitable--but God is incapable of being anything other than loving towards us.  If we can put our trust in anyone, we should learn to put our trust in him!  

Lord, my trust and my faith are so small.  I want to trust you but then I doubt and waiver.  I can be so fickle.  Thank you for being patient and gentle with me.  No matter who has loved me well or who has completely let me down, help me to learn to trust you despite the hurtful memories or painful past experiences.  Your word promises that you have good plans for me:  plans to prosper me and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.*  When life gets too loud, help me learn to be still so that I can hear your voice.  When I doubt your love for me, please give me gentle reminders.  Thank you.

*quote from Grace for the Imperfect Mom 
*Jeremiah 29:11

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee and Holley Gerth today.


  1. Amen.
    Open the eyes of my heart LORD.

    Visiting here from Holley's, 'Coffee For The Heart.' Nice meeting you again.

  2. Love that song! Thanks for stopping by. Blessings today!

  3. Love reading your words and your prayer. So much of what you said hits home. Thank you for your words of inspiration.

    1. Thank you! This is Karen, right!? Thanks for the encouraging comment!

  4. Great story! I keep our seventeen-month old grandson full-time and he's given me a BUNCH of grey hair from this very thing. He darts out the door, down the walk straight to the street...
    But seriously, isn't Daddy good to use our little people to speak to our own heart.
    Thanks for sharing your heart.

    1. All too familiar! Oh my goodness, yes Daune! I am continually astonished at how much my Father speaks to me through the lives of my children. I do believe it's one of the main reasons that children "are a blessing from The Lord." Blessings today!