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Be Still

Psalm 46:10
"Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth." (NIV)

Before my wife, Melinda, gave birth to a baby girl eight months ago, I thought I had God all figured out. Having lived with a severe physical disability all my life, I discovered many unique spiritual truths along the way and pass them on to others through my writing and speaking ministry. My spiritual armory included a surplus of all the basics: faith, joy, love, patience, understanding, compassion and forgiveness. Little did I realize that I had not even scratched the surface of the awesome nature of God.

My daughter, Gabriella, came into this world twelve weeks early, weighing in at just less than two pounds. I figured her 75-day residence in the hospital was God's way of teaching my wife and me more patience and faith. The real revelations, however, come by just experiencing everyday life with a baby. Her smile, her giggle, her gaze, and even her cry make me imagine the manner in which the Father must see each of us. Compared to Him, we surely look like helpless little children who smile and praise Him when He blesses our lives and then cry out when we feel that He is ignoring situations. In all things, in times of miracles and in times of trials, He calls out to us in a sweet, gentle voice:

"Be still, my child."

I truly enjoy the times I spend with Gabbie when happiness shows through her expressions and actions. That smile, where she sticks her tongue out through her lips, and that joyous laugh warm my heart because I know she loves me.

Ironically, though, I often find more satisfaction when I succeed in calming her when she is crying and fussy. I lack the physical abilities needed to change her diaper, feed her, or even hold her without assistance, yet my touch and my voice often calm her until other help is available. Frequently, once she calms down and becomes still enough to hear my voice, she takes comfort in my singing to her and my telling her that everything is fine because "mommy" will be back soon to take care of her physical needs. My voice soothes her to the point that she forgets about her need for food or a clean diaper, and she falls asleep. This lets me know that not only does she love me but she trusts me as well. She knows that I am her father and that I will make sure all of her needs will be taken care of when I say to her:

"Be still, my child."

I believe this holds true in our relationship with our heavenly Father. When we quiet our minds and spirits, we finally hear His voice speaking to us and comforting us. He wants us to rest in the peace of knowing that all of our needs will be met. He desires our trust, our faith in His power to take care of all things in His perfect timing. He requires our acknowledgement that He knows what we need much better than we do.

Unfortunately, we usually get so caught up with the hubbub of life that we can not hear His voice, and our selfish nature demands that He take care of our necessities and our wishes without listening to Him tell us what we really need. He speaks patiently, waiting for us to become calm, just as I do not weary of waiting for Gabriella to realize that I am talking to her and end her screaming.

That tolerance stems from the knowledge that she is only an infant and does not have the understanding of life that I possess. She focuses only on the immediate need at hand, blocking out my attempts to lull her. She has yet to learn other means of asking for help; she only knows her basic instinct of crying. However, she starts listening to my voice a little sooner each day because I have demonstrated a pattern of trustworthiness to her.

The same holds true for our relationship with God. He knows that we do not have His wisdom, that our minds and spirits are very immature compared to His. I imagine that the more restless we grow, the softer and more soothing His voice becomes. He understands that we need limitless patience from Him because we do not have access to the overall picture to our particular situation.

If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know the rest of the story. Once we silence our minds, spirits, and even bodies, we find indescribable peace and rest in the Lord. We surrender full control of the problem over to Him, virtually forgetting about it. We then vow, once God has solved the difficulty, to immediately give the next situation over to Him because we realize that His answers are better then our own. Sadly, we often retract that promise, and we waste our time and energy attempting to undertake the next trial that comes our way.

Children tend to trust their parents more as time goes by because of the parents' ability to effectively resolve problems has been proven time and again. God desires the same trust from us. He wants us to grow spiritually in order that we may one day reach the point where we automatically hand over all our needs and trials to Him. We have received His promise both through example and through His Word.

Matthew 6:32-34
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (NIV)

When we focus our sight on God, everything else seems to disappear. We need to learn to ignore our human instinct of automatically fretting and getting worked up about a problem because we accomplish nothing when we worry. This anxiety develops because we do not know how to handle the trouble at hand. Like a fly caught in a spider's web, we end up making the situation worse by struggling to find a way out.

Once we relax and focus once again on the Father, we remember that He will take care of all our needs. We need to reprogram our minds and our hearts to instinctively turn everything over to Him rather than carry the burden ourselves. We must allow ourselves to hear Him whisper gently in our ear:

"Be still, and know that I am God."

About Kevin Berg
Husband, father, speaker and author, Kevin Berg, presents motivational programs to churches, schools, and corporations around the United States. Kevin's disability confines him to an electric wheelchair, and he has difficulty speaking clearly due to the Cerebral Palsy, which has affected him his entire life. Kevin is constantly challenged by the activities most of people do without thinking. Yet, he has succeeded in things many only dream about doing, after doctors said he should be put in an institution and forgotten. After graduating from college with two degrees in five years, Kevin went on to get married and start a family while developing educational, inspirational, and motivational presentations.

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