Wait in the Stillness

by Andy Wood on July 28, 2014

in Ability, Five LV Laws, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Increase, Time, Waiting

Long Road

Dani has her days and nights mixed up.  She’s driven to finish her degree and excited about the possibilities of life after school, but her brain and body are also fatigued.  She feels like sleeping when she’s awake, but can’t quite shut it all off mentally when she’s supposed to be sleeping.  Dani has a weary soul.  And her weary soul is receiving the call to Wait in the Stillness.

Allen is on the verge of something great.  His ministry organization has experienced a funding breakthrough, which has made it possible to launch an entire new division overseas.  He’s doing Kingdom work, and for months he has lived at the glorious intersection of waiting and working – where anticipating collides with diligence.  So why does this mid-40s man, who is otherwise in such good health, find it so easy to well up with tears for no apparent reason?  Allen has a weary soul.  And his weary soul is receiving the call to Wait in the Stillness.

Teresa is grateful for the progress.  Day in and day out, working with little Pauley, she has seen such growth in her little son with special needs.  Compared to this time last year, both of their worlds have dramatically changed for the better.  But driving home from the latest meeting with Pauley’s case worker, Teresa catches a heart-glimpse of how far – how very far – her boy and she have to go.  And something inside her screams, “Give it up!  You’ll never get there.”  Teresa has a weary soul.  And her weary soul is receiving the call to Wait in the Stillness.

To live in a broken world, teeming with peril and possibilities, is to shoulder a load that defies your own strength.  You may look at somebody else’s yoke and feel sorry for them, or feel sorry for yourself.  Either way, your own life challenges are enough.  And at some point, assuming you care at all, you will find yourself pushing against your own weariness of soul.

The prophet Isaiah spoke of youths who grow weary and tired and vigorous young men who stumble badly. Regardless of your age of shape, you are no exception.  Welcome to the world of limitations.  Welcome to the land of the weary soul.

Detour Signs

When souls get weary, sometimes feet get stumbly (yes, that’s a word – I just made it up), and brains turn to mush.  In other words, people get stupid. And it seems lately that the nightly news has turned in to the daily edition of “What were they thinking?”

She did what?

Seriously?  He actually did that?

See, in the land of the weary soul, sometimes it seems the only solution is to punch the eject button.  Just find an escape – permanent if necessary, but temporary if possible.  Do something to feel the rush of adrenaline again.  Find a way to mainline the magic or the mojo.

Responsibility?  That’s for people with energy.

Accountability?  That’s for people who still care.

On the other hand, when souls get weary, sometimes hearts get hostile.  Otherwise nice people turn automobiles into guided missiles.  Otherwise loving parents turn children into punching bags or scapegoats.  Otherwise faithful friends decide to check out on a decades-long friendship.

Are they really that mean? That abusive?  That hate-filled and bitter?

Are they really that irresponsible?  That dishonest?  That crazy?

Maybe.  Or maybe they’re just weary, and impossibly trapped in their own powerlessness.  And they refuse the call or don’t know how to Wait in the Stillness.

Help for the Weary Soul

He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:29-31, ESV).

To Wait in the Stillness first means finding a way to get still.  It means giving yourself permission to stop. To say no.  To ask for help.

This is absolutely vital.  Know why?  Because often when you want to stop you can’t.  Or when you finally do ask for help, you can’t find any.

So when you can and should, do.

There is a reason God commanded a Sabbath day, Sabbath years, and a Jubilee.  It’s not to mess with your profits or (please!) to make you more religious.  Simply put, you need the rest.  Your soul needs the stillness.  The re-creation.

To Wait in the Stillness means to reacquaint yourself with the bigness and the nearness of your God.  Weary souls make mountains out of molehills and anvils out of shoe boxes.  A weary soul can look across the room and the distance may feel like a trip across Texas.

That’s why it’s vital to wait on the Lord.  This is no passive period of moaning and groaning.  It is an opportunity to recast your gaze on God – His power, His wisdom, His love.

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable (Isaiah 40:28).

Waiting in the Stillness means whatever is going on in your physical world, your heart returns to a place of trust, dependence, and surrender to the sweetness of His voice and the soaring strength of His character.  You can do that in a church service, a dark bedroom, or a traffic jam.

Waiting in the Stillness means laying down your obsessions with “I must” and resting your weary heart under the banner of “He is.”

Waiting in the Stillness means letting Him renew your strength by first renewing your love for, faith in, and hope in Him.

Waiting in the Stillness means giving yourself again, not to the flurry of ceaseless doing, but to the breathtaking potential of human being.

Efficient?  Hardly.

Wise?  Most definitely.

Vital?  You know the answer to that.

The stillness is calling.  I’ll guarantee you your weary soul is trying not to pay attention.  I suggest you do it anyway.  Even weary souls can soar like eagles when the lift and thrust comes from a Greater Power.

Martha Orlando July 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm

“Be still, and know that I am God.” “Come to me all you who are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” These two verses came quickly to mind as I read your post, Andy. There are weary souls everywhere who need to turn to the Lord for rest and to experience true Sabbath. I’m lifting a prayer for those today.
Blessings, my friend!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post ..Growing More and More

Lynn Litschke July 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Dr Andy,
I don’t know if you remember me but I was in one of your classes about a year ago. I just finished my Masters program a few days ago and am 3 weeks into a new position at work. Administration is saying they will be putting the spiritual director position back in the budget in January 2015 and would like to see me move into that position. It is all very humbling, exciting, and exhausting! I certainly needed to read what you have written here. I have made Psalm 46:10 my mantra for the past few months… Be still and know that I am God. It seems to be the one thing that calms the storm of anxiety and “have to get it done” raging in my head and heart. Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. I needed the reminder that waiting in the stillness is NOT doing nothing… it is doing what He calls us to do so that we can hear Him and rest in His Love and be lifted up by His mercy and grace.
I also want to thank you for the encouragement and support you gave me in that class. I have gone back to your words in my mind many times over the past months as I struggled to feel that my work was “good enough”. God has faithfully carried me when I had no strength… and your kind words soothed the absurdly perfectionistic voice of my own doubts and fears. Be blessed!! Lynn

Andy Wood July 31, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Lynn, that’s awesome! Thanks for the update, and for your priceless encouragement.

Andy Wood July 31, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I’m joining you, Martha. (Receiving a little, too!) 🙂

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