Growing up I just longed for a pat on the back from my parents. My brother always got the compliments and the praise while I was always ridiculed. I strived more and more and still never got it. The times I got 99, I was scolded for not getting 100 and when I got 100 I was scolded saying that was just a fluke and would challenge me to see if I could achieve that again. At a later date my mum said she was using reverse psychology with me without realising it was damaging me left right and centre. Both my parents would gang up in this matter.
I became an over achiever as a result of it. My mum who didn’t have the means to achieve her dreams having been orphaned at a young age and had to shoulder much responsibility , tried to live out her dreams and aspirations through me. For me being still in His presence and soaking in His love and not hyper has been a long learning curve.
God’s humour is that He has been putting me into being still stages quite a lot. Now of course despite other people’s judgment of me being ‘lazy’ and ‘irresponsible’ and perhaps even unproductive, I have learnt to be less harsh with myself.. as I do see what God is doing through me. In fact I have to admit I see how privileged I am to have this major gift of being away from the rat race of life and having the gift of spending time at His feet , being a prophetic intercessor and being moulded myself.
However, there are times where there seems to be nothing happening other than this being still phase and that is still a little hard for me. It seems as if doors for ministry burdens open and the preparation starts and then there is a huge lull. I’m like, “Lord, what’s going on?”.
A couple of days ago, He decided to tenderly speak to me. He took me back to my days of studying at educational institutions. He reminded me that each day is SPLIT into PERIODS and breaks / intervals and the year is SPLIT into TERMS and BREAKS. At the end of each academic year the holiday is a lot longer than during the year.
God asked me to reflect on this and as well as the reason for the breaks and holidays. The mind needs time to digest what is learnt and there is a capacity of intake too. A time of rest is required to let the subject material sink in before more can be ‘fed’ in to the brain. Likewise with our bodies needing sleep at night to renew ourselves physically and emotionally.
The end of the year vacation is longer to prepare ourselves for the next year which would be more intensive in nature than the former. There is progressive expansion in the subjects taught from year to year deepening in intensity. Naturally the brain will then have more ‘work’ so to speak. The holidays give that time of rest and preparation.
God was telling me that it’s the same with our spiritual walk. He will put as a time of rest which seems unnecessary to us but it is absolutely necessary for the same reasons – except the preparation is for the spiritual matters. As the next stage in our spiritual walk and ministry deepens and becomes more intense, there is more preparation that is required. Preparation cannot be done all at once just like our school terms are structured to teach subject matter progressively over a time period of the course.
Besides being a believer entails much unlearning of what we have learnt by being in the world.. we need to unlearn to be able to learn the correct things.. Our lenses through which we perceive things begin to change and become more and more reflective of God’s ways, wisdom and heart. The preparation stages help us with this unlearning of the ways of the world and learning of God’s ways which are higher than our ways.. We start letting go of cultural and religious traditions seeking intimacy and relationship… We begin to realise that these traditions often come in the way of loving and relationships as that takes up much of our time and focus.
Being still is not easy but is a requirement for God’s children… well that’s where the blessing lies. Jesus always went up on the mountain to have solitude of intimacy with the Father.
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10
Being still helps us let go and let God.. helps us let go of us getting the pat on the back and allows the credit to go where it is due – to HIM ALONE!