This past week I went to a women’s event called “Summer in the Psalms.” This is a delightfully casual gathering of women of all ages to take an in-depth look at a specific Psalm. Each time we meet we study a different one, and this week’s was Psalm 46…one of my favorite since it contains verse 10, which is the verse that has been sustaining me over the last few years in any way imaginable:
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
As part of the study the facilitator asked us to do several very helpful exercises to really dig deeply into the Psalm. The closing exercise was different, however, since it was an application: we had to think of something very specific that this Psalm would inspire us to do in the coming days to help us deal with any particular struggle we are facing at this time.
Well, of course in my mind, the most difficult part about completing that task was to pick one, and only one thing I’m struggling with at this time…but God is Faithful and He directed me to something unexpected.
Like I mentioned earlier, one of my life-sustaining verses is in this Psalm and when I realized the study was going to be on 46 I was thrilled because I thought verse 10 was going to be speaking volumes to me again. As usual, I thought verse 10 was going to prompt me to speak and meditate on how it has helped me deal with thyroid cancer, whole body scans, waiting room anxiety and things related to that experience. Much to my surprise, however, God had a different plan…which should not surprise me in the least…one thing He is not is predictable…
Anyway, He gave me a fresh angle. He showed me a new insight I had never contemplated before. He guided my eyes to the first part of verse 9:
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
When it came time for me to share my application, I said something like: “the same way He calms all wars to the ends of the earth, He calms the wars raging inside of me too. My inner struggles and the wars that wage in my mind cause me to react in a way that is often too aggressive mainly against my children, especially Dylan. So I ask God to lead me to pray before I yell. That when I feel the fury begin to bubble and rise within me, I may be able to stop, say a quick prayer and not yell, but talk.”
I praise God for giving me that moment of humility. As I try to be intentional about walking the road to spiritual maturity, I am growing more and more aware of how my extra heightened and exaggerated sense of self-worth interferes and hinders my ability to be humble. It makes me over protective of my time, my dreams, my goals, my agenda and in the meantime, it makes me trample over those I love the most while in pursuit of the fulfilment of my own needs and wants…emphasis on MY.
God in His loving care and desire for me to shed my infant clothes and step into big girl pants points out the truth: Life is not about me. It is first and fore most about Him. And it is also about those He has placed in my life to love as He loves them. The battles that rage inside of my soul are the direct result of that struggle to topple the idol I have entrenched in the seat that belongs only to God… but consequently, that is precisely the war that will finally overthrow the usurper: myself. And it won’t be over until Only God is back on His throne.
It is only then when I will finally be still and stop anger cause me to react aggressively, annoyed or impatiently when others need me to share my time, talents, gifts and life with them. It is only then that I could find peace. In the meantime, prayer will guide me through and hopefully pull the break before I yell.