“My soul, wait in stillness, only for God—from Him comes my salvation.”
Ps. 62:2 (TLV-Tree of Life Version)
In preparing our hearts for celebrating the birth of our Savior, it is difficult to obtain peace in the midst of worldly Christmas preparations like shopping, meal prep, relatives and adult children descending upon us….perhaps pets and grandchildren as well. These can be happy times, but also stressful and certainly not the picture that comes to mind when we think of “stillness”.
Often, when I have experienced stillness, it has come as a welcome surprise in the least likely places. Once, believe it or not, a sense of stillness came over me in the midst of IKEA (a gigantic, bustling four-story home emporium). Maybe it was necessary for survival in that place (!) but I still recall the time I was sitting in a snack area with my four young children and it was extremely crowded and noisy. It seemed like over-consumption and greed was everywhere. I started thinking about how the quietness of God was in stark contrast to the frenzy I was experiencing at that moment. It was then that I started to feel God’s presence and a deep sense of stillness in the midst of the madness. No one around me could see the stillness I had found in my soul, but oddly enough, it was there.
Other times I’ve experienced a profound sense of stillness in more expected places, for instance after a heavy, night-time snowfall. The snow covers the earth like a thick white blanket, absorbing the sounds of the world, and it feels so cozy and still, compared to a typical night. I just love the “sound” of it!
Another time, I was in Yellowstone National Park and our group decided to hike to the top of Mt. Washburn for the sunrise, starting out in the dark of night. This was way out of my comfort zone but once we got past the timber line, there were no cars roaring in the distance, no birds chirping or any of the myriad of daily sounds we have grown accustomed to. There was complete and utter silence hanging heavy in the air. I will never forget this ultimate experience of stillness and have never experienced anything quite like it since.
Stillness, however, isn’t necessarily complete silence. The goal is to find it in the midst of the madness of daily life. It is a state of being. It comes from deep within us, from the very core of our being. We must wear stillness like a favorite sweater or pair of snuggly pj’s. We must know it, befriend it, and embrace it, so that we can call upon it like a dear and familiar friend. It is a place of peace, rest, and tranquility no matter what is going on around us. And in the stillness, we will find God.
So as we prepare for Christmas, let us try to wait in stillness. Waiting not only to celebrate the birth of our Savior, but for whatever may be birthed within us from this sacred stillness in our soul.
“Be still and know that I am God!”(Psalm 46:11)