Be Still — Obedience

Be Still — Obedience

Oftentimes when we’re faced with trials we pray and ask God, “Lord, what would be my next step?”

We expect answers like “do this”, or “speak about that, or “go there.” We anticipate that God will command us to do active actions. We ready ourselves to have a response to whatever we’re facing which requires our hands to do work. Hands on.

It’s easy to obey God’s command when we’re given a specific call to action. But how about when God tells us to “be still?” It’s different from being told to speak in front of a congregation or go serve in the mission field. We’re being told to stay put. “Be still” equals “hands off.”

Personally, I’ve been facing trials in almost every aspect of my life — work (I’m employed!), undergraduate thesis (yup, still working on earning that degree), family, relationships, and health (mental health to be exact). With the amount of the mountains I’m facing, I’d rather God command me to act on them head on. Yet, He has other plans.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

Knowing my personality, being still is the last option on my list of how I’d resolve problems. I’m Headstrong Hannah — when things don’t go the way I think they should be, I take matters into my own hands. I would do something and not just stay put. So being told to “be still” is not the easiest for me.

Although my hands don’t get to do active work, “be still” is still a command. Being told to “be still” is a practice on obedience.

Would you still obey Him when what we’re told to do is to (in a way but not entirely) do nothing at all and wait on the Lord?

God told me through four different media to “be still.” I think that’s suffice proof that it’s what He wants me to do. A command is still a command, whether it is a call to action or a call to take a step back and let God be God. Honor God through trials. Look to Him. Dwell in His presence. Know that He is in control even when our life feels like it’s falling apart.

The waves and wind still know His name.

 

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From A Man Renewed

From A Man Renewed

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It was May 2015 when my Art Studies 141 class (Photography as Art) went on a 3-day photography trip to Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. We visited a number of the provinces’ famous landmarks ranging from museums to food stops. One of the places we went to in Vigan, Ilocos Sur was the former Ilocos Sur Provincial Jail.

Aside from the old prison cells and their gates, the jail looked immaculate in contrast to its past. Near the main exit, the final passageway to the world beyond the prison walls, is a chalkboard. On it is a message written by a previous prisoner upon his release.

What struck me is the line “What I need therefore from the people around is their kind understanding and welcome acceptance of me to rejoin the main stream society…”

This man had paid for his wrongs in his time in jail. Will we, the people of mainstream society, still reject him and make his life an eternal prison even outside the prison walls?

In a sense, we are all wrongdoers. We all deserve a certain degree of punishment. The only difference we have from the people in jail is that we haven’t been caught, accused, or misidentified. Think about that before branding someone as worthy of death because they’re “salot/vermin”.

John 8:1-11 tells of the story of the woman caught in adultery. People were ready to stone her to death. Yet what did Jesus say to the crowd? Jesus said, ““Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” in verse 7. Everyone left but Jesus and the woman.

The story concludes in verses 10 and 11 with an exchange between Jesus and the woman.

Jesus: “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
Woman: “No one, sir”
Jesus: “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Jesus knew of the woman’s sin. But what did he do? He gave her a chance to live a new life away from her sin, a chance to be reformed.

Who are we to deny that right to decide to live a reformed life?

The note ends with a short prayer which says, “and with a solemn prayer to God to grant me His graces — THAT I SHALL NEVER PASS THIS WAY AGAIN.”

He is my strength and my song. Through whatever, I have a reason to sing. His love and mercy is enough for me to make melody. He gives harmony to my restless being. He steadies the rhythm of my doubtful heart. He orchestrates the wonder of my life.