by Jill McDaniel – Media Minister
Finding Fullness in Stillness
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave”.
1 Kings 19:11-13a NLT
I love the change in seasons we are experiencing right now. There are many jokes about our apparent lack of seasons in California- either it’s hot or it’s not! We may not have four distinct seasons in the Central Valley, but there is still nuance- we just have to slow down enough to notice. Is that as difficult for you as it is for me?
One of my favorite things to do is sit on my patio at night when it’s foggy or raining. It’s cold and dark, so even I’m surprised that this brings me joy instead of the onset of seasonal blues! But what I’ve realized is this is the easiest way for me to slow down and just… be present.
The world seems to move more slowly.
Everything else is muted.
My mind doesn’t race around as much.
This is my best time to soak in the presence of the Lord.
Have you made room in your life for stillness? Do you ever have time for quiet? That’s scary for a lot of people. For me, it almost sounds impossible! On the inside, weather that is either “really hot” or “kinda not” looks like I’m either running at full-steam-one-hundred-percent-firing-on-all-pistons or nothing. “Nothing” is pretty darn quiet! But it’s empty when I don’t deliberately invite the Spirit into those moments- and it’s those moments when God speaks the clearest. God has been teaching me new tools to pause my own chaos in order to experience His fullness.
“I have so many things to get done I don’t even know where to start!”
Pause. Pray. Make a list, so I’m not being blown around by the wind.
“Woah, this thing came out of nowhere and disrupted my routine/plan/life!”
Pause. Pray. It’s ok to feel shaken up by an earthquake. Even if I feel like I’m going through a fiery storm I am not alone, because the Lord is faithful.
“It’s finally what I consider nice weather!”
GO OUTSIDE. Let the environment do the pausing. Pray, and experience God’s presence!
Pausing takes a lot of work for me, but it’s so important. Make sure you take time to pause and be filled by the Spirit!