This is a reposting of a blog from December 4, 2011.
“Be still works miracles” I read on the sign at a church near my home during my early morning walk.
As I walked closer I saw that I had misread. The sign said, “He still works miracles.”
What the sign actually said and my misreading of it were both true statements.
During the Christmas season it’s often hard to find time to be still. There seems too much to do and not enough time to do it.
At Christmas time quite a few years ago, God taught me about being still during the holidays. That particular Christmas season I got a bad case of the flu. I spent most of the holiday season in a horizontal position.
The good news was that despite all my physical symptoms, it was one of the best Christmases I ever had. The reason? For the first time in my adult life I was quiet before the Lord at Christmas. No rushing around being obsessed with the mall or the mailbox. Instead of baking I was forced to take time to bask in God’s presence.
One evening I felt so bad physically. I turned off the lights in the living room and lay on the couch. Mindy, my seven-year-old lay beside me. We played “Silent Night” on a little music box and looked at the lights on the tree. After about ten minutes I no longer focused on my symptoms, and I lay there in complete peace, stroking Mindy’s hair and thinking of that holy night long ago.
I thought of Mary in the manger greeting her new baby boy who was born to save the world. I felt weary from the flu, and I thought of Mary’s weariness after her travels and giving birth to Jesus. I felt joy and a closeness to God, just as I imagined Mary did.
That night I realized that in Christmases past God had been calling me to “be still,” but I rushed off saying, “I don’t have time.”
Ever since then I have made it a point to take time to slow down and be still during the Christmas season. And when I do it works miracles on my attitude and dissolves my weariness.
During my times of stillness I consult the Lord about how to spend my Christmas season. Being still helps me to hear His still, small voice. He has led me to cut back on my activities and the high expectations I have of myself. I allow God to be in charge of Christmas and the result has been joy and peace.
“Be still and know that I am God”
my Lord reminds me in Psalm 46:10 (NIV) , a verse that often comes to mind—especially at Christmas time.
I like the way it’s presented in the New American Standard Bible where it says,
“Cease striving and know that I am God.”
I confess that I have tended to do too much striving at Christmas. I spend so much time striving to buy just the right gifts that I can forget what Christmas is all about—the gift of Jesus. But I am getting better at being still.
At Christmas time I have learned to take the time to remember who I’m celebrating and that “He still works miracles” and “Be still works miracles.”
What about you? Do you find it hard to slow down during the Christmas season? Try taking some time to be still before the Lord. Allow Him to quiet your heart. Receive the gifts of joy and peace as you meditate on the greatest gift of all—our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Whenever I’m still before the Lord at Christmas, I think of Mary. This version of “Mary, Did You Know?” sung by Pentatonix has blessed me so much lately.