“Be Still”–I often strive to put out the fires I walk through and flail in the river
currents fearful that my head will go underwater. Yet God says the flames of the
fire will not burn or scorch and the rivers will not overflow us because He is
with us. (Isaiah 43:2)
What should I do? Sing.
On March 2020 I started reading “Streams in the Desert” as part of my daily
devotion time. On day 23 of that month the author, Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
printed a poem.
“He placed me in a little cage,
Away from gardens fair.
But I must sing the sweetest songs
Because He placed me there.
Not beat my wings against the cage
If it’s my Maker’s will,
But raise my voice to heaven’s gate
And sing the louder still!”
I often beat my wings against the cage. Following my diagnosis of B Cell
Lymphoma in late November 2019 there were battles with fears and
uncertainty in the early hours of the morning, unable to sleep. My choice
for healing was a miraculous cure and I asked. When God did not heal me
this way, I sought guidance on therapy. I found it difficult to accept what
seemed to be His choice, chemotherapy. I furiously beat my wings against
the bars that locked in this decision.
When the Apostle Paul and Silas were locked in a cage (prison), they prayed
and sang hymns to God. They were singing when an earthquake shook the bars
and freed the prisoners. (Acts 16:25-26)
The two words I wrote at the beginning of this piece are part of a complete
sentence from Psalm 46. “Be still and know that I am God.”
The psalmist tells us that God, the “Most High,” is not moved although waters
roar and foam and mountains tremble. Before my cancer diagnosis, I completed
a Bible study based on Psalm 46 written by Sher Pai. One question in this study
was: “In what ways does this knowledge help you to let go of the things that are
trying to disturb your peace today? (The knowledge was the revelation
of God provided in Psalm 46).
My answer was: “He is a present help. Do I assume He will help, or do I cry out?
Do I ask, seek, knock, pour out my heart as a person would to a loving Father?”
I cried out to God during my cancer treatment and found He answers. Our
emotional state does not factor into His response, often we are vulnerable
trying to get some solid footing on unstable ground feeling guilty that our
faith has been shaken. But still God answers.
Feb. 27, 2020 at 3 a.m. I wrote:
“Last night my heart was troubled as I went to bed. I asked the Lord to
shelter me in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 36:7). I needed comfort,
reassurance. I needed to be wrapped securely, protected. I felt a touch
and heard inaudible words–“You are in the shadow of my wings.” Suddenly
I realized that is why the side effects from chemo were not so severe and
those I had God had given guidance on how to manage them.”
God is trustworthy. Whether or not we trust Him is not a factor in His
trustworthiness. It is one of His characteristics. We can count on Him to
do what He says according to His Word.
Knowing that “God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble,”
when trapped in circumstances beyond our control, instead of coming out
swinging, let’s sing praises as we expectantly wait for something extraordinary
only God can do.
Contemplate Your Ways:
**Is there anything you strive to accomplish rather than trusting God to
complete the work? If so, what?
**What would singing in times of trouble look like to you?