Hold Still

(The following is from guest blogger, Lindsey Greenawalt. Lindsey is married and is a mother. Among other things, she is a master's student in biblical studies and is on a quest to learn how to live her life more authentically as a child of the Living God.)

I wonder if the very answer to our prayers for direction, calling and purpose is wrapped up in a simple, loving command which we find nearly impossible to follow: “Hold still.”

Even King David mused about holding still in Psalms 23:1-3: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”

Weekday mornings aren’t my favorite, particularly due to the struggle of getting my little girl ready for school. It seems no matter how much time we allot for doing her hair, the struggle is the same. Time and time again, I urge her, “Please just hold still! Just for a moment, I’m almost done.”

You may or may not have a sassy little girl who loves her black tresses running all the way down her back, but you’ll agree that a child is anything but patient. Holding still, in the world of a young child, is nearly a form of torture. Nevertheless, if I want to keep her lovely hair clean, endure the “torture,” she must. All I need is about one minute of stillness, but often this process takes five or ten times that long. I can’t make her hold still. She must intentionally, willfully cease moving long enough to allow me to brush, swoop, and tighten. She’s usually happy with the results, and yet the next morning holds the same struggle: she’s antsy, distracted, or downright grumpy and I’m urging her to “hold still.”

It was after one of these particularly trying mornings that I felt a sort of impression, from that familiar, kind, vast place—the heart of my Father-King—saying something like, “Now you know how I feel, child.”

Rather than brush it aside, I agreed in my heart to connect with this invitation to listen. Lately, I’m realizing that soaking in Father-God’s presence and embracing the often awkward silence is more vital to my well-being than air itself. These delightful love messages come the more I am intentional and willing to set aside my time to listening for God’s voice. And so, I waited, pushing back the external noise until only He and I remained. Gently, Spirit-initiated thoughts and impressions flooded into my receptive heart:

“If you would only hold still, precious child, I would prepare you for the plans I have for you. If you would learn to hold still…you would know my thoughts towards you—my heart towards you. There are so many things you want to do for me, but are you willing tojust be with me?”

How frustrating it must be for the King of the Universe, the Lover of my soul, to devise a destiny for his beloved daughter; then, as He attempts to place the crown of purpose upon her head, find that she is unwilling to hold still long enough to receive the necessary preparation in order to step into her birthright.

It took many of these invitations from my Father to incline my heart to hold still, but I am learning…and growing. I’m learning that the longer I agree to sit quietly waiting in my Shepherd’s presence, the more at peace I become. It’s as if He deposits exactly what I need in order to face the challenges of the day ahead. Little by little, my course is also changing. I am noticing, that those things I once lost sleep over, those affections that once held my heart captive, are no longer significant. I am recovering joy in these green pastures, a treasure I had lost at a young age. I’m coming to know my Creator and Father beside quiet waters—and through that knowing, I am falling in love like never before. I’m becoming ruined for those temporary pleasures of attaining a goal in the job-place, or cheap entertainment to ease the exhaustion of striving. I’m holding still, and because I am holding still, I am not moving forward…

Much like a tree that plunges its roots into fertile soil, I am going deeper and RISING HIGHER.