The other day I was stopped in my tracks by a huge thunder storm. It came on like a massive wall of power. The rain was pouring down, lightening lit up the sky, and thunder shook my car as I pulled over to wait for it to break. Both on my way up and back from my visit to my alma mater I had to pull over because the storm was so strong. After each storm I was also surprised with the most beautiful double rainbows. My immediate response was to pull my phone out and take as many pictures as possible, but the Lord stopped me in my tracks by saying, “be present”.
It takes every ounce of my being to consistently fight the constant need to do something. I am a huge extrovert and love spending time with people so I am always looking for a place to go. Even while I rest I tend to spend more time than necessary dwelling on the things I need to get done. No matter what I am doing it seems that I am moving. There is this constant drive to fill my free time with anything I can come up with.
This lifestyle has led me into a season where I have been trying to take full control of my life. As I look back on this past month, it is hilarious for me to see that this has actually made my life feel more OUT of control. The more I have tried to take things into my own hands, the more things seem to fall apart.
One of my favorite passages of scripture is Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” One of the most famous and used out-of-context verses, this passage has brought me a lot of peace over the years. Most read this and think of slowing down and meditating; However the context of this verse was not intended for that at all. In fact it was written during a time of war and conflict. The meaning in this psalm lends itself more to: “cease striving” or “stop” and more specifically in this context “stop fighting.”
As I came across this verse the other day, I was met with conviction. I have been so wrapped up in worldly expectations. Earlier in this post, when I saw that double rainbow, God had stopped me to remind me to “Be present.” As I put the two together I have found myself in the middle. Giving up control, while learning to be present. Surrendering this fear of my past sins, knowing full well that they were paid for on the cross. Giving the Lord my anxieties of the future because He holds it tightly in His hands. So He has brought me to this beautiful space in the middle of it all: the present.
Being present with the Lord. What does that even look like? I think it looks differently for a lot of us depending on what season we are walking through. For me, it has been being more cognizant of His presence throughout the day. Whenever I get up from where I am sitting, whether it is the car, my desk, a couch, I have myself in this rhythm of simply just saying in my head, “you are here and you love me.” It is one of the most freeing things I have done in awhile. It creates this mental habit of going into and leaving places with the gospel being my first and last thought.
The more aware we are of the Lord I truly believe we will become more like Him. Our character will begin to reflect His and He will increase in our lives.