“Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah” (Psalm 4:4)
“ Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)
The most frustrating thing about my spinal issues, other than the pain of course, is the limiting factor that it has become on my life. I’m not supposed to pick up anything heavier than a gallon of milk, I’m not supposed to overdo it, I’m not supposed to blah blah blah. I have all sorts of well-meaning people telling me that I need to take it easy, including my doctors. Easier said than done. I have responsbilities–I’m a Daddy, a husband, and a pastor, and each of these require a lot. I don’t have time to lay around and do nothing!
So, I don’t listen to what all of those people tell me. I go right ahead and do things I’m not supposed to be doing, instead of resting and allowing the epidural I got last week to do its job. Then I wonder why my back is killing me. Dumb. They tell me I need to take it easy and give my back a chance to rest, but I don’t do that until I absolutely have no choice. That’s why I currently have an ice pack pressed against my lower back and some pain meds flowing through my bloodstream.
We do the same thing to God. His Word tells us that there is great importance in being still for a time and letting God work in us–to heal us, to teach us, to restore us–and yet we run and run, often doing “His work”, until we collapse spiritually (and often physically). Then we come running to God, asking Him to take away the agony that we have brought on ourselves, when we should have gotten still a long time ago.
So why is it so hard to get still? I like to be on the go because I know there is so much to be done. I never have enough time to do everything I need to, so I certainly don’t see the need to slow down–I need to go faster! But there is the catch: God tells us that we often need to get still before we can go the way He wants us to. He has things we need to learn before we can go, things that He can only teach us when we get still. When we try to keep going in our own strength–well, that strength runs out. God will give us what we need to do what He wants us to do. But we need to get still so He can give it to us.
So, as I lay here for a few minutes with the ice pack under me, Psalm 4:4 is speaking to me like never before. I’m really angry that my back still hurts, that nothing I do seems to make it any better. But I’m not going to be stubborn about it. I’ll do what the doctors–and everyone else–is telling me, and get still for a bit.
And, spiritually speaking, its a pretty good idea, too. I’m looking forward to what God is going to say in the stillness.