Have you ever been around someone who is so caught in a tizzy that you finally yell, “Just stop!” Or if you’re like me, you’re the one who gets caught up in the turmoil of life and you need someone to cut in and hit pause.
As the holidays hit high gear, our busyness increases and our time, attention and even patience decrease. We strive to be jolly. But we can’t avoid a swirl of chaos as we press on with our daily to do’s. Emotions tug at us as we remember those who are missing from this Christmas. And ‘what will next year bring’ looms in the back of our mind.
We see it in ourselves. We see it in our kids. We see it in our bosses. If we’re looking for it, we see it all around us. The need to stop. The need to pause. The need to do something different than what we’ve been doing.
“Stop talking and just listen.”
“Stop running around in circles long enough to catch your breath.”
“Stop driving down the wrong road so you can find a way to the right road.”
We can take these literally or figuratively. Some of us are zeroed-in on tasks. Some of us are lost but too afraid to stop pushing forward even if it is the wrong direction. Some of us are dead set in our thinking and aren’t willing to change.
We’re no different than the people back in Jesus’ day. Listen to what He said:
“Stop grumbling.” John 6:43
“Stop judging by mere appearances.” John 7:24
“Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27
The key is this: We can’t just stop doing something tiresome or destructive, we have to start doing something good instead. In Psalm 46:10, our Heavenly Father says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” In other words, Stop––be still, and then praise Him!
It makes me think of when Jesus was on a boat with His disciples and a storm began to rage. The disciples cried out to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. The wind and the waves were in a frenzy, the disciples were at the end of their rope, and Jesus said “Stop!” If we would be like the wind and the waves, if we would be quiet and be still in the presence of Jesus, if we would heed His words, we too could feel the peace of “completely calm.”
The holiday season is filled with excitement, gifts and traditions. And it brings larger lists and increased stress. Many of us spent Thanksgiving reflecting on what we’re thankful for. Continuing this into December and the new year is a great way to hit pause and praise God each day. We can find the calm in the busyness around us. Let’s stop what we’re doing today long enough to be still and offer praise to Him!
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” Mark 4:39
Let’s Talk: How can you be still in today’s busyness and show your praise to God?
May I pray?
Jesus, few of us have ever experienced the peace and tranquility of “completely calm”. Help us today to stop, turn our focus to You, and be still. Help us to hear Your words and praise You for who You are––our loving God who is the reason for every Christmas season, and our powerful God who is in and above every life storm. You walked among us to give us a path back to You, and You are the only One with the power to command our storms. May we not just stop running in this busy season, but may we pause and truly listen for Your voice. May we not just stop doubting, but may we believe Your truth. Thank You that You are always ready to step in and bring us peace––true peace that is found only in Your presence. Amen.