Well, here I am. 1:00 am on a Sunday. Set to teach the 3rd and 4th grade boys Sunday School class, as usual; and jobless. Yep, jobless. After all, that’s why I’m still awake. I went to bed, but just laid there, REM-rates are so high from my overwhelmed mind that closing my eyes isn’t really an option. I lost my job on Wednesday of this past week. I’ve been filling out job applications for about a month as I knew hard times were coming for the company I worked for, but I’ve been frantically filling out applications even more-so since July 31st. I’ve got bills. I’ve got a wife and three wonderful boys to take care of – so yeah, I’m up.
I lay in bed, praying. “God! What do you want me to do? Please, do something? What other jobs can I apply for? What jobs should I apply for? I need wisdom. I need money! God, what do You want me to do?!” Then, through the torrential downpour of fear, frustration, anxiety, and utter helplessness, came a silence. It was brief, but long enough. It was like time had been stopped in the matrix of my mind and the words, “Be Still” was heard. It wasn’t as loud as the previous thoughts, but it literally altered the tension within my body. “Be Still.” I had heard this phrase sermonized on countless times in the past. I had experienced it given as a cheap answer in an attempt to really deal with the problems of another (as sometimes truth is misused to do), but this time, it was spoken as truth was meant to be spoken – with grace.
There was a practice among those in the time of Jesus… see, they didn’t have chapter and verse divisions in the Scriptures, so a way to get the hearers to recall a portion of Scripture the speaker would cite a piece of it, thus bringing the entire portion to the mind of the listener. So I reached for my phone, pulled up the YouVersion app, and read Psalm 46 in its entirety; and with the reading of the first verse, a different flood engulfed me. “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” I was troubled, and in trouble, and here the Psalmist is writing a song to remind others of the faithfulness of Yahweh.
Without realizing what I was vowing, I determined to do just what The Holy Spirit had instructed me to do – be still (or as the HCSB translates it, “Stop your fighting”) Not that my response was involuntary. It was 100% voluntary. It’s like when one has fallen, and the hand of another reaches out to help. The helping hand isn’t examined, it’s just grasped out of relief that help is there to grab on to. So, No application dropping today. No searching for today. Now I’m not naive enough to believe that my doing this is going to land me a dream job, or any job for that matter. I don’t think this is some deal I can strike with God and He will make everything perfect because I stopped my struggling. What I am saying it, I’m not going to toss and turn (in my mind or my bed). I lay there asking for wisdom and He gave it. Highly unconventional, but then isn’t that just like Him?
So why share this? Why am I still up 40 minutes later typing it all out instead of sleeping? Because I had to share it; that’s what grace does.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” ~ Jesus