Be Still My Soul
It has been over a week since Walter departed for Florida, and the ache that momentarily held me in its grip has passed. Still, at the sound of his voice, my heart is awakened and stirs within me a desire for my beloved. It's not just the updates regarding his preparations for us. It is the simple and seemingly unimportant that I long to share – Gary's driving lessons, my endless supply of zucchini and squash, along with my efforts to make the most of our harvest, his new job, and the boys' schooldays. In every way my heart yearns to make him a part of what I had so unwittingly taken for granted just a couple of weeks ago. In essence, I am learning to redeem the time while I await Walter's return.
What does that mean? In its most broad sense, it means to, by payment, recover from the power of another those defining moments in life's journey, and since Christ has already paid the price, it is left to me, empowered by His Holy Spirit, to make this crucial time count for something. Yes, the life-shaking revelations occur, but to redeem the time is to invite Christ into the ordinary of my day, finding out what His business entails and sharing with Him the very moment in which I am living now.
Right now, as I await Walter's return, I am emptying my house of all that is unnecessary for our home and life in Florida. Not everything I once thought so important is so. I am reaping what we planted together. (It's laughable the amount of zucchini and cherry tomatoes you can get from a single plant.) I continue to educate and disciple our sons in the ways of the Lord. I walk the dog.
Are we, as the church, redeeming the time? While we wait, are we removing from our lives all that is not vital to our relationship with the Lord? Oh, how easy the cares of this life sneak in, robbing us of the joy that we are His! In addition, the fields are ripe, and we must harvest; otherwise, the fruit will go bad. It must be preserved! We must disciple those whom the Lord has put in our path and encourage them to maturity, so they, too, will be ready when Christ returns.
That lesson learned, I am, at times, left shaken by my circumstances, when the enemy uses cold "reality" and isolation to convince me I have been abandoned. Honestly, sometimes the subtle and relentless lies of the enemy are hard to shake off. There's an irrational fear that occasionally overtakes me when the enemy whispers, "What if He isn't coming back? What if He's left you alone?" But then, once more, I hear my Comforter echo His words, reminding me I am His and His return is imminent. There is no hesitancy in that voice any more than there is in Walter's when we speak. If anything, it grows more decisive with each day we are separated and reverberates with resolve – "You are Mine, and I WILL come for you!" and I rest, knowing no power in heaven or hell can separate me from His love.
It is in these moments of fear and grief, when we grow weary of the wait, that we must order our souls silent and command them to rest, not in our faith, but the faithfulness of the Lord. We can't be indecisive regarding such foul tactics. We must be tenacious and firm, charging the seat of our emotions to align with His promises and His character. A particular hymn ministers to me when the enemy would seek to drive me toward mental despair. Perhaps it will minister peace to you, as well. I include you, friend, because I know you've trod this path, too. We are not unwise to the enemy's schemes, yet we all could become more discerning in response to them.
I leave you with the words poignantly penned by Katharina A. von Schlegel and published in 1752. Today, I bless you with the peace of our Lord, which He left us – that which surpasses understanding in the most trying of circumstances in a world gone mad. May your heart, too, alight at the sound of the Spirit reminding you, "You are His. He will be back."
Be Still, My Soul Full Lyrics by Katharina A. von Schlegel
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well-pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.