Cease Striving …. Advent 2014, Dec 8

Cease Striving …. Advent 2014, Dec 8

Tis the season for busy, busy, busy. The air is drenched with the anticipation of Christmas and all the tasks that must be done. Food bought. Presents for co-workers. Presents for kids. Presents for spouse. Presents for parents. Presents for outreach project. Parties to attend. Food to eat. Decorating to do. Christmas lights to see. Christmas lights to put up. Christmas concerts to attend. Nerves frazzled. Emotions running high.

None of this looks, feels, or resembles Jesus – does it? Maybe it is just me, but I struggle to see Jesus in the midst of all described. One of the rooms in the house, fondly named “the mommy quiet room” serves as my office and a place I like to go when I need to quiet myself. There is something very peaceful and serene about the room. Perhaps its the coziness. The numerous windows. The placement in the house. More than all of that its the place where I choose and work to be still.

“Cease striving and know that I am God” Psalms 46:10a(NASB)

What would happen if you were still?

If you chose to no be grabbing after, reaching for, running hard towards, hoping you would be able to catch God? Catch His attention. His love.

Maybe what you are striving after is success. Title. Power. Recognition.

God has been gently calling me to stop striving in my strength and let Him lead. Let Him heal. Let Him lead the way. Rest in His ever present presence and believe that He understands, He sees, and He has not forgotten. He has a purpose.

When I read this verse this morning – it hit me between the eyes and pierced straight into my heart, I need to cease striving to understanding. To cease, to stop trying to reconcile things in my mind. And to just be. To be in His presence. To allow His presence to envelop me. His love to wash over me and breath life into each crack and crevice of who I am. I would have said I wasn’t striving, that I was resting in His presence and simply being – but when I saw the words “cease striving” I was convicted. There are areas in my life where I need to apply this. Its an action. Its a step I take. I replace the striving with knowing. With knowing, acknowledging – understanding that God is God. I need to pause and wonder at who God is. All He has done for me. The blessings. The miracles. The lessons. The joys and the sorrows. To remember all He has done so I can have hope for all He will do.

“ God doesn’t want to number your failures or count your accomplishments as much as He wants you to have an encounter with Him.” p70 The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

If I don’t choose to cease striving, I will miss Jesus, I will miss the Father. I will miss out in the fullness, the richness, the depth of all that God did over 2000 years ago with the birth of Jesus. As I choose to stop striving I am allowing room for an encounter with the Holy God of the universe, the Creator of the whole world. I know its difficult, areas that we need the healing power of Jesus seem to surface when we are still, it requires letting go of control, of believing He is leading our life. Being still is learning to trust what God tells us to do and to simply obey and let Him handle all the rest.

Where striving ceases and encounters with Jesus are the norm, we will KNOW Him.

The goal for this Christmas, to walk in such a way that I experience, I encounter Jesus in a fresh way. That the hustle and bustle doesn’t cause anxiety and frustration; but rather the beauty of Christmas spills over. The beauty of Christmas, the hope that Jesus gives – occurs in the stillness and the knowing. The miracle of watching Jesus show up in each of our lives and changing us.

Advent Resources:
Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience printables & much more

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”


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