Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ben Sits Still

Ben scampers across the church aisle and scoots in next to me during the quiet communion time at church. With swinging legs, bouncing arms and alert eyes, he is trying his best to be quiet and still.

Like dozens of Sundays before, I put my arms around him, hug him close and kiss the top of his head.

"Nana loves you," I whisper. Since his newborn days, rubbing his back and cuddling him close has helped quiet him.

He knows the church routine and he's not a difficult child, but he's a little boy. Learning to be quiet and still, to know God, takes a lifetime of training.

Ben wants to play. He wants to run. He wants to talk. He wants to giggle.

Clasping his hands, bowing his head, Ben tries his best to be quiet and still. He wants to make good decisions. He wants to please God. He wants to delight in obedience.

He reaches for my hand and squeezes each of my fingers before resting our hands in my lap. He traces the veins on the top of my hand and draws numbers in my palm. Then he remembers. Once again he folds his hands and bows his head, squeezing his eyes closed.

Leaning back against me, he rests his head on my shoulder, trying his best to be quiet and still. With a weary sigh, his eyes pop back open and he examines each of my fingernails.

Be still and know that I am God, the Psalmist tells us. Be like a weaned child resting in a mother's arms. Sounds easy, doesn't it?

"Sit still!" a frustrated mother behind us urges her little one. Ben grins up at me and I lift him into my lap as his giggles escape.

"I love you, Nana," he tells me when I remind him to be still.

On the inside of my wiggly little bundle of joy, deep in the heart of him, the training has begun. The God who knit him together in his mother's womb, is still at work, answering our prayers for him, keeping his heart tender, peaceful and safe.
All discipline seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, at times;yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)
Every morning I discipline myself to sit still, to be quiet, to know God. I seek to have a tender, peaceful and childlike heart.

I lose focus and find myself playing. Sometimes I find myself running from the discipline. I want to make good decisions. I want to please God. I want to delight in obedience.

"I love you," He tells me as I lean into Him, squeezing my eyes shut, folding my hands and bowing my head. I am, once again, for awhile anyway, focused and still, quieted by His love.

Learning to be quiet and still, to know God, takes a lifetime of training. We will reap a harvest of peaceful fruit, if we do not give up.

I love you, Father. Remind me to sit still.

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