What is this business about my needing to study, strive, labor to be quiet? shouldn’t, quiet, just happen?
I Thessalonians 4:11. I have always been a quiet person on the outside. For example, when I had the opportunity to give a Sunday morning sermon at a high school reunion, all my friends came up to me and said, “You talk!”. I never said a word through high school, but boy the inner-chatter was going full time!
Now, if only I could be quiet on the inside too. My inner-chatter goes round and round on things that I can do nothing about. (The past hurts and screwups, future concerns, what is happening elsewhere, the government, people’s behavior in traffic, the economy, other peoples attitudes and beliefs, etc.) The “fussing” just happens and it is impossible to quit and be quiet. Obviously “blessed quietness” is not something that comes naturally.
What do the scriptures say? “Be still and know that I am God”. Psalm 46:10 In return and rest, in quietness and confidence, shall be your strength., but you would not! Isaiah30:15. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord Exodus 15:16. Stand still and be shown the word of God. I Samuel 9:27. Stand still and remember all the righteous things that God has done in your life, and then think more reasonably about the current stress. I Samuel 12:7. God talks to me in a still small voice. (Not in the earthquake, or fire). Again, I read, stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God. Job 37:14. Stand in awe and be still at night on my bed and I won’t sin. Psalm 4:4. He leads me in green pastures beside still waters. Psalm 23: 2
How should I then live? With inner quietness, inner thoughts focused on the Lord, casting all my cares on him for he cares for me.
But I would not! Isaiah 30:15. Why don’t I do what he tells me to? Why do I do what I don’t want to but then there I am doing it? Romans 7:15. Well, let me count the ways: I fear that if I don’t stay worried, I won’t find a creative new solution, or that I will be prepared for the dangers to come, or that I won’t to do my part, or that other people will judge me for not being tense, “don’t you care, why aren’t you more uptight?” etc.
Some of it is just habit. It is anxiety-provoking to let go of the “protecting, reasonable” worry responses that I have had since my childhood.
But there is no blessing, no piece, no avoiding burnout if I don’t let God give me inner peace. So how do I cast my cares on him.? I Peter 5:7
- First I need to predict situations that provoke me to unquietness and not just wander into ambushes unheeding.
2. Then, I need to catch myself reacting.
3. I need to assure myself that being quiet is not irresponsible or dangerous. It doesn’t mean that I am not allowed to do the little I can.
4. I then need to improve my techniques for calming my heart, and focus on doing the little I can in the present moment/yielding my body members, instruments into God’s hands leaving the results to him.
5. I then need to spot myself picking up the tension again and once again cast it on him.