Dinner finishes up, and dishes are collected. The last jokes and stories are told at the table, and the final brushstrokes of the sunset outside disappear from view. Night is here, and the day winds down, but there is one little soul who still needs me. Big, blue eyes and a gummy smile meet my gaze as I wrap up all our leftovers, exhausted from a day of jumping from task to task. And I smile back, still tired and sometimes overwhelmed but ready to be in the stillness with my little boy as he gets ready for bed and falls asleep.
Rocking him for a few minutes in his room is where I find silence and solitude, two things that are hard to come by in this noisy world of ours. It's here in this moment of motherhood that the Lord quiets me with His love. Many times, I go into my son's room frustrated and anxious, but I leave in peace. There is something about holding my baby in the stillness of the night that causes me to slow down and remember the Lord's presence. As I press my son's cheek against mine and feel his tiny body relax and his chest rise and fall, I am overwhelmed by how much I love him. And in those quiet moments with my son, the Lord gently reminds me that the love I have for my child is just a shadow of the love He has for me and all of those who belong to Him.
We need quiet moments to reflect, be still, and remember the faithfulness of God. On many days, it probably seems like these moments too quickly escape us or are simply impossible to find as we go through our to-do lists and responsibilities, but they are there. The Lord has even told us in His Word to find them because they are for our good. He says in Isaiah 30:15, "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength" (ESV).
When the Lord spoke these words to His people, they were divided into two kingdoms–the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. The Assyrians had taken the northern kingdom of Israel captive, and they were beginning to make advances toward Judah as well, so Judah looked for military aid from Egypt in desperation. Egypt was the nation who had enslaved them all those years before until the Lord had delivered them! The Lord wanted the people of Judah to recognize Him as their deliverer and told them that if they would return and rest in Him, they would be saved.
How often do we run to other people or distractions when we are frustrated, anxious, or distressed? We know that the Lord has promised that He will always be with us, but we do not live like He is. We consume the noise of the world, and we forget about being still. We deny ourselves true rest in His presence. We ignore our human limitations and keep going and going and going. It leads us to exhaustion.
And while being still before the Lord will not make all our frustrations, worries, and mishaps go away, it will put them in their proper place. They will not ruin us or destroy our day. Instead, they will be the topics of conversation between us and the Lord. They will allow us to remember that we are limited and that we need our Father. And we will find that the more we look for quiet moments with the Lord, the more moments we will have with Him when it is not quiet at all. When we seek Him in the stillness, we realize His constant nearness. And that makes all the difference in our noisy, busy, and restless world. Quiet moments with the Lord lead to a quieted heart.
So, as you move from task to task today–washing dishes, finishing an assignment for a class, or cleaning up lots of messes made by tiny hands–remember that the Lord is with you. Enjoy His presence. Let His nearness quiet your heart, and let the work of your hands stem from a confidence in His strength and love. Know that everything you do is done unto Him, and one day you will be with Him forever. He is your deliverer, and He is your salvation.