We all have little habits that help us along in life, and writers are no different.
Some need silence; others compose in chaos. When I write, quiet music calms my soul, soothes my busy mind, and sweeps away the troubles of the day.
However, the other day it felt like no words would come. I sat at my messy desk for several hours writing, deleting, writing, deleting. Finally, at 11:23 p.m. I laid my head on my desk and let the quiet music play.
The hymn began . . .
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 heavenly 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, though 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 sorrows 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 hastening 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.[ref]Catharina von Schlegel, “Be Still, My Soul,” in The Lutheran Hymnal, trans. Jane Borthwick (St. Louis: Concordia, 1941), hymn #651.[/ref]
Being still is not a natural habit for me, which is why writing had become nearly impossible that night. So I chose to sit in stillness, open my soul, and listen to the Lord. And worries, recent losses, deep grief, discouragement, and exhaustion bubbled up. I needed to cry, to pray, to let go, and to quit trying to run my life. God wanted my heart, not my “to do” list. So for the next hour or so, my heart opened up to His care.
When was the last time you slowed down, sat in silence, and allowed the Lord to care for your soul? This hymn reminds us to leave our pain at the cross. Our Lord guides our future, He rules the waves and the wind, our tears matter to Him, and He soothes us in our sorrow. When we encounter Him in the stillness, our soul finds unshakable confidence and hope as we rest upon Him. The Lord is directing me to cultivate the habit of stillness. If you have felt stuck lately, your soul may need to rest. In rest we can find freedom and peace.
Let Me Hear from You
How about cultivating this habit together? Let me know what happens as you choose to be still . . . it is an amazing experience.
Question: What have you learned from waiting on God? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
I promise to share how He’s working in my life too. It all started with this very post.