I Will Be Still Isaiah 18:4

“I will be still, and I will behold in my dwelling place.” Or another translations “I will look on quietly in My dwelling place.”

Lord, You teach that we are made in the Father’s image and we are to learn to become like You, our Savior. I have studied many passages about being still, but perhaps this is the first time I have been struck that my Father is still. Hudson Taylor wrote about the Lord not being worried or perturbed, but this is likely the first time I have noticed this Old Testament passage to that effect. Or is it because I am so eager for answers today? In Isaiah You were still and just beheld what was happening until You were ready to act. Oh I fail miserably at that! Being still and unperturbed….yikes I have so much to learn and a long, long way to go if I am ever to be like You in this.

About the only time we can get this boy still away from an electronic device!

Yes, July 15th I saw the Orthopedic Surgeon regarding the shoulder I injured in late June. The MRI results and test for my range of motion show a frozen shoulder. I had thought “Frozen Shoulder” was due to not moving it. Well, I was so wrong. Frozen shoulder is now considered an autoimmune disease that can set in after a fall. Doc explained it as a bell curve. You fall, then you get progressively less movement and more pain in that shoulder, hit a plateau, then slowly recover. No surgery unless there is no improvement after 6 months. No physical therapy for several months. Sling for comfort and pain meds to help with sleep. Cortisone injection in shoulder capsule during my appointment. No fun! but Lamaze breathing certainly helped. This morning I still have frozen shoulder. I suppose I must rest for many more days to come. Doc said the worst are the patients that think they have to DO MORE to get better. He assured me this will resolve itself, but it will take months, not weeks or days.

Also have been listening to my old music collection of songs. Came upon this Vineyard Music song.

I was so glad the You Tube video has the words for you! Below is the link to Streams in the Desert that so inspired this dry soul as I waited to see the doctor. A friend gave me a copy almost forty years ago. She did not like the wording and thought I might. She was absolutely right. I also love that the Lord can move me to the wrong date when I need to read something from Him! I doubt that Mrs. Cowan had any idea the impact that her collection would have to move so many people for years and years after publication in 1925! https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/desert/streams-in-the-desert-july-17th.html

I will be still, and I will behold in my dwelling place (Isaiah 18:4, RV).

“Assyria was marching against Ethiopia, the people of which are described as tall and smooth. And as the armies advance, God makes no effort to arrest them; it seems as though they will be allowed to work their will. He is still watching them from His dwelling place, the sun still shines on them; but before the harvest, the whole of the proud army of Assyria is smitten as easily as when sprigs are cut off by the pruning hook of the husbandman.

“Is not this a marvelous conception of God–being still and watching? His stillness is not acquiescence. His silence is not consent. He is only biding His time, and will arise, in the most opportune moment, and when the designs of the wicked seem on the point of success, to overwhelm them with disaster. As we look out on the evil of the world; as we think of the apparent success of wrong-doing; as we wince beneath the oppression of those that hate us, let us remember these marvelous words about God being still and beholding.

“There is another side to this. Jesus beheld His disciples toiling at the oars through the stormy night; and watched though unseen, the successive steps of the anguish of Bethany, when Lazarus slowly passed through the stages of mortal sickness, until he succumbed and was borne to the rocky tomb. But He was only waiting the moment when He could interpose most effectually.

“Is He still to thee? He is not unobservant; He is beholding all things; He has His finger on thy pulse, keenly sensitive to all its fluctuations. He will come to save thee when the precise moment has arrived.
–Daily Devotional Commentary

“Whatever His questions or His reticences, we may be absolutely sure of an unperplexed and undismayed Saviour.”

Meditative quiet was almost impossible for me yesterday as I waited to find out if I was facing surgery or what. Today I am more quiet, but still rattled by the diagnosis, injection, pain, etc. Each day will get easier for me to move back to that prayerful practice of turning off my anxious mind and becoming more like the Trinity, beholding all things, patiently watching life unfold. I do believe that the practice I have participated in thus far helped me through the anxiety of the unknown. Now to radically accept this resting and slowing down for healing. God knows, I have a long way to go!

Collected Quotes and a Short Joyful Video

For years I have kept quotes that inspire, encourage and challenge me. As we try to downsize I have been coming across some from quite a while back. For many I do not have the author’s name. I hope they inspire you, too.

“Surrendering is a personal and spiritual experience. Trust in the timing and in the freedom at the other end.”

Ardis Whitman: Hope for the moment. “There are times when it is hard to believe in the future, when we are temporarily just not brave enough. When this happens, concentrate on the present. Cultivate le petit bonheur (the little happiness) until courage returns. Look forward to the beauty of the next moment, the next hour, the promise of a good meal, sleep, a book, a movie, the likelihood that tonight the stars will shine and tomorrow the sun will shine. Sink roots into the present until the strength grows to think about tomorrow. “

I just LOVE how this woman expressed it! She says with a giggle, “You just never know what may happen!” She does not say it in a doom and gloom sort of way. She looks forward with expectation of joy with much gratitude! Spend about 6 minutes with Peggy. You will be blessed!

Oh Lord help us to adopt her wonderful attitude and smile in every aspect of our lives! Once I had a librarian tell me, “You know you are reading a really great novel when you find yourself during the day wondering what the characters are doing now!” God of the universe is writing your story. What is happening now? Give praise and thanks for that thing.

Me, GE, Whirlpool and Maytag

As a nanny, helping with infant twins and a four year old I learned to do laundry by rote. Then moved on to help with a family with infant triplets. Three loads a day seemed to be the minimum amount. I called it bringing order out of chaos. Doing laundry for our family of four was relatively simple after that.

Then our family dwindled to three and eventually just the two of us.

I found when my adult kids were behind in their household affairs or in crisis, I could always do laundry for them.

When my son faced a recent health crisis, on many levels there was little I could do to resolve the situation. But I could always do laundry. Load after load, seemingly endless amounts of underwear then britches, a few shirts, and bed linens. I can always do laundry.

The rhythm of sorting, loading, changing machines to dry the fabrics, then the meditative process of folding and sorting into piles. Yes, I can always do laundry.

Stain treatment is likely to involve the pent-up energy of other unresolved situations, but the stains eventually yield, if not totally, then enough to reflect my efforts.

Yes, I can always do laundry… and when I am too old or frail to do laundry, hopefully my children will do the laundry for me. May I not prove to be a burden to them or crisis for them to resolve.

I See You

The human soul anguishes over being invisible.

Gratefulness.org recently sent out this quote.

“The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance. ”   David Whyte

There are photos of my ninety-four year old mother-in-law as a child. In one she is one her father’s lap. In another holding a dog. Was it a pug? I do not remember the dog or its name but it makes me wonder what was important to her as a child?

I remember being amazed when I learned after many years of my marriage to her oldest son that her adult children were afraid of her. Most of these folks were married and had children of their own by then. She had a temper and ruled her family with the anger of a rigid matriarch.

Now at 94, she is just a shell of herself. Literally. She is skin and bones, under 90 pounds. At a recent oncology appointment she told her adult children, “I have no idea what he just said. Do what is best for me. I just want to go home.” Now she is in hospice care. She has to be willing to accept the help of others to get her meals, take her medications, have clean clothes and also to her horror, to be bathed and get clean. She is quickly becoming intimate with disappearance. All that control and matriarchal power has been removed.

How will we inhabit our vulnerability? Will we be large, compassionate and courageous through our intimacy with disappearance?

As the adult child of an alcoholic I often felt invisible. It seemed I was often not heard, understood or accepted. That left lifetime scars of feeling invisible. I have to check myself, even now in my late 60’s, to be certain I am not transferring those feelings from childhood into my adult relationships, even my marriage. Inching towards death, as this quote reminds me, I will become intimate with true disappearance. No longer a being in the room with an opinion or issue to be dealt with, but gone, a memory to some, long forgotten by most.

God is called El Roi in the Old Testament, meaning the God Who Sees.[Genesis 16:13]  I was thrilled to learn that name, realizing God has seen me each and every stage of my life and continues to hold me close. He sees each of us and He cares. Will we trust Him as we continue to age and grow closer to the only exit plan guaranteed to each each of us unless the Lord returns? Death.

What are your plans for inhabiting your vulnerability and becoming intimate with disappearance? For one,  I need to print that quote and keep it before my eyes!