Saturday morning while doing some garden cleanup, admiring the beauty of the autumn leaf carpet, I listened to the quiet… broken only by low-lying geese honking their conversation, and several birds trilling their beautiful summer songs. It was so calm and peaceful, without busy road commotion… the call of nature, God’s creation.
“Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10a) Quiet your heart… slow down your pace… put aside your frets and worries… and listen as God speaks to your heart… thoughts to remind myself… as I listen to hear His voice.
Perhaps you’ve heard about comparisons regarding which voice we pay closer attention to… that which we feed… that which brings comfort or worry, encouragement or discouragement, a calming stillness or urgent rushing, the voice of reassurance or fright. You get the idea. With maturity, we know the value of discerning which voice we should listen to in any given difficult situation. While the stronger voice often brings turmoil within our heart, there is another voice which calms and quiets our soul with peace.
One of my favorite life verses has been, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Yet, admittedly, I fall short and tend to fret. For isn’t it so like us to be drawn away into a false sense of security by thinking something isn’t as bad as it really is? And I can be so easily overwhelmed by fretting on the day’s trials, or projecting trouble into something that hasn’t even happened yet!
Sometimes it takes moving away from the hustle and bustle of the world to hear God’s wisdom quietly speak to our heart. Once warm weather arrives, I enjoy the peace and tranquility of my two sitting gardens. I love to listen to the gentle sounds of nature all around. And though what surrounds me was once my husband’s family farm but is now a golf course, the tranquility is refreshing to the soul, especially on those days when I can hear the gentle gurgling of the creek.
In the relative quiet and solitude, I sit and pray… remembering those in need, or rejoicing with those who’ve been blessed in some special way. I thank the Lord for my own many blessings, too often taken for granted, especially my late husband and family. And express to Him my needs and concerns. I thank Him as I listen to the birds sing and chatter, as I watch them building nests and later feeding their young. I observe and appreciate new blooms as the gardens change day by day. I watch the creek as it serenely flows west and south. And my stress is put into perspective.
For God is a God of peace, not of contradiction and worry. In John 16:33, Jesus told His disciples the night before He was arrested that “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.” Our Lord brings comfort and contentment to our soul amidst the din and confusion of the world. And when we come to Him in confession, He washes us clean by His loving mercy and grace.
As our advocate then, our Lord gently reminds us how much He loves and cares for us… as He covers us with “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, [which] will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:7-9)
May I be still and know that You are God… as You quiet my soul…
You Quiet My Soul
Linda A. Roorda
You quiet my soul while the world rushes on
I lean on Your word when all around fails
A strength You give in response to my pleas
To calm and still my heart in chaos.
When voices condemn in the silence of night
My heart shrinks down in bitter defeat
Though awash in fear Your solace I seek
For comfort You bring when worries stir fears.
Peace within turmoil You alone bestow
With blessings poured out from Your generous heart
For Your word directs when I seek Your throne
As mercy and grace with love set me free.
Your arms wrap tightly to embrace my life
Encouragement’s light on a pathway dim
To lead me on and gently reassure
You’ll never leave… You’ll never forsake.
So quiet my soul while the world rushes on
Bless me with joy when Your face I seek
That love may gently contentment’s praise sing
As you calm and still my heart with Your peace.
Linda Roorda writes from her home in Spencer.