Stop and Go: The Rhythm of Walking with God

by Peggy Cunningham @Inca_Writer

“… Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 NIV

In the distance, birds chirped their morning concert. Gazing at the clock, I debated––crawl out of my cozy, warm bed or watch the sunrise through the lacy curtains. Too late to pull the covers over my head and drift back to sleep. My brain was already racing with the daily tasks at hand. And I knew rising early usually ushers me into a quiet time with the Lord––at least I hoped.

I’m not a morning person. I prefer to be quiet in the morning except for talking to the Lord. You won’t find me exercising, enjoying a morning conversation on the phone, or turning on the TV. Unless the calendar has me going out the door for an appointment, meeting, or class, I’ll relish the time at home. Now don’t misunderstand, you won’t find me on the couch. I’ll be chomping at the bit to get things done. Cleaning and laundry will most likely steal my attention from the computer that beckons me to catch up on correspondence and my writing schedule.

My friends ask how I juggle ministry, writing, and life––as a senior. A mystery to me also, but I do have help––supernatural help. I tap into that supply when I pick up my Bible and head to a cozy spot in the corner of my house. But, why don’t I rush more often to that special place?

The word “still” isn’t naturally a part of my agenda. Do you go on a guilt trip when you see a photo or article beckoning you to Be Still? I do.

In my busyness, it’s very hard for me to make the time to be still. But I need to make time to stop and focus on the One who stopped His life: leaving heaven to come to earth to die for us. As He stopped and chose us, we can stop and choose Him.

Then we are still. Then our soul finds rest. “My soul finds rest in God alone” (Psalm 62:1 NIV).

For many of us, slowing down is work. It’s natural for us to run, move, go, but it’s unnatural for us to slow down, stop, breathe. However, it’s possible to find that cozy nook anywhere–anytime and for any amount of time if we focus on God and nothing else.

There’s nothing wrong with being busy, being active, being on the go––except, if we forget to keep our passion for Him fueled, it will be all too easy to burn out and collapse.

Where I grew up, we had Stop and Go stores. We stopped, got what food we needed, filled up our tank with gas, then continued on our way.

Stop. It seems simple, but yet it’s the hardest thing to do.

We can practice these steps: Stop. Look. Listen. Breathe. Go. Stop for a few minutes or an hour, look into His face, listen to His voice, breathe in His majesty, and then go, knowing He is God.

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Stop & Go: The Rhythm of Walking with God – @inca_writer on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Peggy CunninghamAbout the author: Peggy Cunningham and her husband have been missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. In 1999, they founded Rumi Rancho Ministries. Rumi Rancho is their ministry base and home outside the city of Cochabamba where they work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also an author. Her children’s books and devotionals are available on Amazon.com, including her latest book Shape Your Soul, 31 Exercises of Faith that Move Mountains, a women’s devotional.

Join the conversation: How do you spend time with the Lord?

 

 

I’m Drowning Here!

by Pam Farrel

Ever feel like you are drowning in bad news?  Are the tough times are coming at you one right after another like a torrential down pour?  Is all the negativity and stress making you feel like you can’t even get a breath? Me too.

While I was writing my new book, life felt like I had been caught under the great Niagara Falls, being forced down under the torrent…breathless…helpless. The stressors of that season felt much like when, many years before, I found myself caught in a rip tide while swimming in the Pacific Ocean. My options at that point were terrifying: one was to catch a wave that would carry me to shore, but the shore was a cliff with jagged rock and thrashing waves. The other option was to allow the rip tide to carry me far out to sea. Death by rocks or death by sharks?

But then I remembered a third life-saving possibility: to swim parallel to the shore far enough down the beach to where the riptide ended and the sandy beach began. So as the riptide continued to carry me away from shore, I prayed and began to calmly swim along the shoreline. Eventually, the rip tide’s grip broke. I swam in and walked out to safety, exhausted, relieved, and overjoyed.

One psalm writer was in the press of one hardship after another. He wrote: “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me” Psalm 42:7 NIV.

This verse captures how many of us might feel when life gets difficult. Some Bible scholars say “deep calls to deep” is a reference to powerful torrential flood waters—that God’s hand of mercy is holding back. “The roar of your waterfalls” references the power of water to keep us down and under the surface—at times feeling like the negative circumstance will drown us. The waves and breakers sweeping over him again pictures being caught in crushing, crashing, unceasing waves. These powerful images are each a vivid portrayal of what it is like to be caught in a flood of challenges.

So, what can we do when the stresses of the unwelcome, unwanted, unexpected, and unbelievably hard circumstances are gushing down like a waterfall? Verse 11 gives the psalmist’s source of hope in the flood: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (NIV).

We can go beyond surviving and actually thrive while living in this broken world. God, our lifeguard, tosses us a life-saving ring of hope and help. When we put our hope in Him, we find a firm rock on which to stand. We can trust in His goodness, and we can trust Him to be faithful. And as we wait for Him to move us through a challenging time, we should express our trust by praising Him. Because as we pray and sing His praises out loud, we remind ourselves of His character, enabling us to trust Him even more firmly than we did before. And we remind ourselves that He is working all things together for our ultimate good. (Rom. 8:28)

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Psalm 62:1 NIV

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

pam ferrelAbout the author: Pam Farrel is an international speaker and author of 45 books, including her newest, an innovative Bible study co-authored with Jean E Jones and Karla Dornacher:  Discovering Hope in the Psalms.   Pam and Her husband Bill are Co-Directors of Love-Wise, a ministry to enrich, educate and encourage people’s most vital relationships. When not traveling for speaking, the Farrells enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, walking the beach and hosting guests on their floating home on the ocean.

Join the conversation: What stresses in your life have made you feel as if you were drowning? How did God rescue you?

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