by Lynn Murphy
I have discovered that all the miseries of men derive from one single fact: they cannot sit quietly in their own room.–Blaise Pascal
Since our governor issued a “Stay at Home” order due to the Coronavirus, I have had many opportunities to ponder the mysteries of life. My interactions with others are mostly limited to Zoom and FaceTime, so I can hardly claim my observations constitute a consensus. Nonetheless, I hypothesize that those who are coping best with the current realities of social isolation in midst of an unknown future are those who had previously learned to sit quietly before the Lord. I have several friends who are thriving under the imposed conditions while others are filled with anxiety and chafing to “get back to normal.”
We all experience times in our lives when storms arise and our world is shaken. However; learning to meditate on truth and spend time in solitude with the Lord provides a foundation and an anchor which many are now scrambling to gain. Perhaps you are familiar with the analogy from nature. A tree puts deepens its roots and is strengthened internally long before it shows evidence of upward or outward growth. There may be months of inner growth and nourishment occurring beneath the surface. Those who have practiced waiting on the Lord over the years, do not find these circumstances as trying, merely another opportunity to submit to the Lord’s timing and ways.
While we frequently quote Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know I am God,” how do we act upon this? I wonder if the Lord has provided us with an opportunity to examine our busyness and make adjustments.
In Isaiah 30:15, the Lord offers the people an invitation: “In repentance and rest you will be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength. But you were unwilling.”
When confronted with changes or the unknown, we have been conditioned to believe we must take some action and do something. Could it be worse to do something God has not told us to do rather than to do nothing at all? While waiting on the Lord and being still may appear to be doing “nothing,” in reality, we are being imparted with the Lord’s strength and gaining understanding. Are our over-scheduled lives really virtuous? Is what we have labeled efficient and productive depriving us of the rest God invited us to enter?
Currently we are restricted to engaging in only “essential” activities. As I wait, I am asking the Lord which activities in my life does He deem essential. When our governor lifts the restrictions, will I head back full speed into all those things I was doing? Have I realigned my heart so that my roots continue grow deeply into God’s love preparing me for the next storm that will eventually come?
May we be like the man in Psalm 1 who is like the tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and its leaf does not wither. In whatever he does, he prospers. Our essential activities will then become about the Lord’s fruitfulness in us, not our productivity for Him.
Even though Lynn Murphy considers her life ordinary, she recognizes she is child of an EXTRAORDINARY GOD! She says, “I consider my primary purpose to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I enjoy Precepts Bible studies, hiking, and reading. When time permits, I paint watercolor cards to send my friends and organize my thoughts into essays which I hope will enable others to abide in Jesus and persevere in faith.” You can read more of Lynn’s writing at www.poiema2016.wordpress.com.