I was getting the tire on the van fixed this morning (one of those fun tasks that need to happen before the tire goes completely flat while driving miles from home). It had a screw in it that I picked up somewhere, who knows where. It doesn't have to be from the construction out on the interstate exchange here at Troy (which, BTW, is said to be done by the end of June! WooHoo!). There is construction in various places. It could have even fallen off a truck or from a garbage truck and been laying in the road, just waiting for my van to go by so that it can attack my tire and cause me to wonder what happened. Getting in the van, having it ding at me and tell me that the tire is going flat is such a wonderful thing to have happen when you want to go somewhere. but at least the van lets me know when a tire is needing air. Saves me from the trouble of calling a tow truck while sitting on a dark desert highway, cool wind my hair, warm smell of...wait a minute. I have digressed into an Eagles song. sorry. In fact, this whole paragraph is a digression. I wasn't wanting to talk about the tire, the van or the warm air at all.
So anyway, there I sat at M & M (not the candies, unfortunately) in Troy, as they worked on my tire. I sat on the bench and thought, "I'm bored." Really? You are bored after sitting on this bench for 5 minutes? Take out your cell phone. So I did. Called a few folks. Texted a couple more. And sat there some more. Minutes seemed like hours. I watched the traffic on 40 go by, people on their way to work, people going hither and yon. I wondered where they were going. Then I thought again, "I am really, really bored. Should have brought a book to read. Maybe I should walk over to the Casey's and get a soda." You don't need a soda. You don't need a book. Sit and enjoy the time with nothing to do. "No way! I need to do something. I can't just sit here."
Then I thought (after arguing with myself for a few more minutes), "What is wrong with you? Why can't you just sit and enjoy doing nothing? Why can't you just sit and talk with God instead of arguing with yourself?" Because I am sitting here on a bench at M & M and have nothing to do. "What about that person who is ill? Don't you think they need your prayers?" Well, yeah. "And that person who is struggling in their lives with..." OK, OK. I get it.
Then I thought, "Isn't that the problem we have in our lives today? We cannot be still. We cannot just allow God to wrap us in His arms and let Him enfold us in the moment, the time, the feeling of the day." Then it came to me, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10 ESV) We are so busy in our lives, we don't have time to be still and know God. Stillness is not something that we are able to do. We might desire it, but when we receive the gift of stillness (and it is a gift) we don't know what to do with it. We must act. We must do something. We must...I guess that is the struggle we face with salvation, forgiveness and the will of God.
We struggle with salvation because we want to do something to help God save us. "Don't I still need to do something to be saved?" No. You don't. God does it all. He saves you by faith and then He gives you the faith whereby you are saved. You are the beggar at the table of God. "But don't I still need to eat? Isn't that the action in which I work with God in order t be saved?" NO! You do nothing. God does it. Be still and know that He saves you.
Shouldn't I do something for forgiveness? No. Jesus did it all on the cross. But don't I need to do something to make His blood work in my life? Be still and know that He is God. He doesn't need your help. He is strong to save, mighty to forgive!
Then I thought (all of this while sitting on a bench wanting to do something - knowing that this was not from my wonderful mind but from the power of the Holy Spirit as I contemplated this Sunday, Pentecost Sunday), "That is the real problem we have, isn't it? It isn't so much about salvation that we struggle. We struggle with the fact that we must sit still, waiting for God to act in our lives - when we are ill, when we are weak, when we have problems, etc. We must wait for God to act and we don't like the fact that we are not the ones who are in control." Be still and know that He is God!
"Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all day long." (Psalm 25:5 ESV) I wait for the Lord all day long. No I don't. I pursue the Lord. I dog the Lord. I tell Him what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how it needs to be done. That is not right. Be still. Wait for Him to act. He knows. Take it to Him in prayer, yet He knows. He tells you to pray. Why? In order to teach you to wait for Him all the day long. To trust in Him. To pour out yourself to Him. To set your will aside and let His will be done.
Then it came to me, "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14 ESV) Be still. Wait for the Lord. Be courageous. The Lord will act. The Lord is the King of kings, Lord of lords, almighty God, Prince of Peace, Alpha and Omega and whatever other name you can come up with as you think of the Lord. He doesn't need us to hound Him. In fact, if anything, we need Him to hound us, to continue to be after us because of how easy it is to be so busy, so active, that we don't have time for the Lord, for the stillness of faith, for waiting for Him.
Lord, thanks for giving me a screw in my tire. For today, sitting on that bench, waiting, I learned a lesson You have taught me before but that I needed again today. I learned to be still. To wait. To trust. To pray. And to know, You have it all under control.