April 24, 2020
Friend to Friend
How can two little words hold so much emotion and meaning? On the one hand,
just be may feel like a deep cleansing exhale. A release of pressure. A stepping away from all responsibilities. A surrender of unrealistic expectations.
One the other hand, just be could feel like handcuffs restricting you from that thing you feel compelled to do. Maybe it’s the dream you can’t wait to get started on. Maybe it is putting your hands to something, which gives you sense of security when life spins out of control, albeit that may not be the best course of action.
Yes, just be can feel different for each of us depending upon our God-given wiring and the nature of our circumstances. For example, when I was in an equine-assisted coach training session, hearing Lord nudge me, along with my friend and training partner, to just be wasn’t exactly easy to receive. I was exasperated after spending forty-five minutes trying to use the principles of Natural Lifemanship to develop a connection with Roper, a horse I fell in love with the minute we met. Nothing I was doing seemed to work. Just be felt like the opposite of what I needed to be doing.
I was so caught up in the process that I forgot to be present for the relationship.
Maybe you can relate as you think about your relationship with God or your family or friends.
I needed to take a step back to get perspective and remember the purpose, which was to be fully attuned to the relationship not endlessly striving to perfect the process.
So with a deep, cleansing breath, I chose to just be.
I walked up to Roper and gave him a good scrubbing on his neck. The tears began to roll down my cheeks as I released the expectations, the self-critiquing, and the endless striving.
Just be. Together. Present in the moment.
Finally, there was real connection. Roper leaned in. Together we took one step. Then another. Peacefully walking all around the arena, attentive to each other.
That moment became a freeze frame for how I want to be in my relationship with God. No matter where I am going and what I am doing, I want to be still in my soul and fully present with God. Isn’t that what the Psalmist urges us to do?
Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
In our modern day vernacular, it might have been written just be, but it is the original language that captures the best meaning. “Be still” actually means “cease striving” (source). Isn’t that what I needed to do with Roper . . . and with God?
The word “know” comes from the word “yada,” which means “to know, learn to know; to perceive; find out and discern; to discriminate, distinguish; to know by experience” (source). This knowing is a posture of curiosity. In part, we have to become more self-aware through reflecting upon our motives, mindset, and the state of our heart as we also seek to just be more fully present with God.
To know God, we really do have to stop striving and simply start living attuned to His presence.
Dear Lord, thank You for the invitation and instruction to be still and know that You are God. Thank You that You are more concerned about your relationship with me than anything I could do for You. Help me to be mindful of being present with You. Help me to cease endlessly striving. Attune my heart to Yours. Align my life to Your Word for Your Kingdom purposes.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
How do you respond to the call to be still and cease striving? How can you cultivate this practice of being present with God, for the sake of knowing Him in a fresh new way?
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Elisa Pulliam is a coach, author, podcaster, speaker, and founder of More to Be. She is passionate about helping women pursue a fresh encounter with God and align with His Word as well as equipping women to become mentors and coaches. Her resource, Connection: Five Ways to Improve Every Relationship will help you discover why God made you for connection and how to improve it in your life. She delights in being Stephen’s wife for 23 years, mom of four treasures, and the opportunity to mentor girls while working with horses as she volunteers at her friend’s farm. Connect with Elisa at MoretoBe.com.