My thoughts (David Zier):
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently before God.”
This reminds me of the story when Jesus is on the stormy water in Matthew 14. Jesus returns from praying, and the disciples see something they don’t recognize. When Jesus tells them it is he, Peter asks Jesus to call him to walk on water to meet Jesus. As Peter walks toward Jesus, he sees the wind, becomes afraid, and begins to sink. “Lord, save me!” Peter cries.
The last several months I have been experiencing that sinking feeling over and over. My body has been trying to adjust to an anti-convulsive medication, but it was thwarted with changes in dosages and changes in form. I felt out of control, tired, depressed, in pain, constant chills, bruising, bleeding, peeling skin, burning eyes, and a foggy mind that seemed frustratingly absent and forgetful. I also experienced partial seizures the meds were trying to prevent. I felt like I had a First Alert necklace around my neck, and I kept pressing the button trying to tell God to get me out of my pit (“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”), but I was not sure God could hear me and I felt all alone. I was isolating myself from most people, even people that I love, because I was struggling with the realities of each day. Sleep twelve hours, get up at noon, and then return to bed. In March, the realization that I would have to pull out of a Guatemala mission’s trip was very difficult. I realize this was the result of medical issues, and I am not beating myself up over it (though I do at times!). Perhaps I have said too much, but there is a point to all of this.
Peter was anxious; he was fearful initially of the ghost he thought he saw. The realities of life represented by the wind come at us out of left field and knock us over. Life will happen to each one of us. Each of us may fall into that pit and wonder where our First Alert system is to help us up.
I wonder what Jesus prayed on that mountain before the encounter with Peter on the water. I can imagine Jesus was on that mountain being still and waiting patiently before God. Perhaps he was anxious about the life of ministry, or the wind, or the road ahead. Jesus experienced everything we experience. Sometimes it is easy to forget that.
What does it mean for me to be still and wait? Not fret. Not worry. But let go. Many of us have bad days and hard times in life, and maybe it seems like the way out is a long distance ahead. God knows where we are. God knows what is on our hearts. Just imagine how healing being still and waiting can be. What if Peter was still and waited. It’s easy to carry that stillness into the times of life when all is good. But how healing is that “being still” and “waiting” when we may need it most?
Thought for the day: Be still and wait on God. God, help me to get out of my own way so I can let You in, even when it is most difficult.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.