Can y’all believe we are still dealing with this pandemic?
When it started unfolding, I think we were all disillusioned in thinking this too shall pass…in a timely manner.
Yet we are still waiting. For resolution. For normalcy. For predictability.
But what I’m still hearing is “I’m _____.”
Tired. Overwhelmed. Discouraged. Hurting. Exhausted. Confused.
We have been reminding ourselves to be still.
Have we gotten too still? Have we now become immobile through this quarantine? Has our stillness led to us know collecting dust?
Sometimes, we are ready for the dust to settle. When we’ve been walking through a dust bowl, all we want is for the dust to lay. When it is stirred up, it obscures our vision.
We often climb up into Ben’s tractor when he’s working to spend time with him and see his handiwork. When we are plowing through the dirt preparing the earth for planting, things get pretty dusty. The kids always ask him how he knows where to go and if he will wreck the tractor. However, he has systems in place that allow him to continue through the field on a set path, largely guided by GPS in 2021, but also his general knowledge of the machine he’s driving, coupled with his familiarity with the land itself.
At the end of the row, we make our exit, realigning our bones due to the jostling that inevitably accompanies riding in a tractor. The only comfy seat is that of the driver that has built in shocks to give and move as the tractor maneuvers over the terrain.
The thing is, it’s hard to trust that you’ll get where you’re going when all you see is dust. The dust may be on your planner, in your house, or covering your relationships. The dust is under the things you surround yourself with and clean around but fail to move the very items collecting dust.
Sometimes we just smear the dust around.
Sometimes, we open the tomb and turn completely to dust.
That’s the goal, y’all. Like we talked about last week, the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He really thought he had the upper hand this past year. He stole our plans, killed our dreams, and destroyed a lot of relationships through our mandated social distancing.
But to be honest, there are a lot of people and situations that I was glad I didn’t have to face. I’m happy to leave them to collect dust in the shadow of my past.
The word I have gotten this week is this:
“Don’t overturn what He’s overcome.”
Yikes. Have I been doing that? Have I been sweeping the rooms in my mind and heart instead of taking the stuff to the trash or to Goodwill? Have I been holding on to things and picking at the seams?
Have you been doing that?
Do you feel like you’ve got to make sure God’s still got this?
We’re not alone. In studying for this post, I came across instance after instance of our predecessors doing the same. They offer solutions – vaccines, activities to do at home, new apps to stay connected, even conspiracy theories – to help God. (a la Job, Ecclesiastes)
But as much as we want to get back to normal, God showed me something different. We’ve been praying and asking and begging to go back to the way things were, but maybe we have been missing the mark. Do we really want to go back to some of those things we left in the dust? Maybe we need to ask a different question and pray a different prayer.
So today, I’m asking for replacement, not restoration. I want to replace the things that have gotten a little dusty with things that are good. I don’t want to keep overturning the things God has overcome. I want to replace my negative thoughts, my dissatisfaction, my resentment. I don’t want those things restored.
I want to be still in the presence of God. And y’all know how hard that can be. In my case, it’s like the meme where the mom is hiding in the pantry eating her favorite snack while her kids are poking their fingers under the door. No time or place to be still and quiet.
In Jesus’ case, the throngs of people followed him when he was seeking refuge.
In your case, your followers may be influencing you to remain in the dust.
Maybe since we’re still 6 feet apart, we have the time and space to seek God.
When we get to that place, we’ll be able to see that He’s still here and still in control.
Mark 6:31 “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Hebrews 4:8-11 “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”
Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 “What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.”
Job 3:26 “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
Psalm 62:1 “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.”
Psalm 62:5 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.”
Zechariah 2:13 “Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”
Mark 4:39-40 “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”