Still, my soul be still

Waiting. We’re not very good at it these days. What with amazon prime next day delivery, just eat takeaway delivery, contactless payments and lightening cables to charge our phones, no one seems able to wait for anything. We live in a world of instant gratification, constant connection with people and updates of news stories as they happen.

Yet advent is all about waiting. Strictly Christmas carols and hymns shouldn’t be sung until Christmas, the more minor slower advent hymns of anticipation instead filling the church in the weeks before Christmas. And yet there isn’t an obvious advent hymn about waiting on the Lord. The song that I kept coming back to isn’t remotely Christmassy.

Listen to the hymn: So I thought this week we could listen to a Keith & Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend piece called Still, My Soul Be Still. Listen on their youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5riGWJ8U10

Read the lyrics:

Still my soul be still, and do not fear. Though winds of change may rage tomorrow. God is at your side, no longer dread, The fires of unexpected sorrow.

God You are my God. And I will trust in You and not be shaken. Lord of peace renew, A steadfast spirit within me, To rest in You alone.

Still my soul be still, do not be moved, By lesser lights and fleeting shadows. Hold onto His ways, with shield of faith, Against temptations flaming arrows.

God You are my God. And I will trust in You and not be shaken. Lord of peace renew, A steadfast spirit within me, To rest in You alone.

Still my soul be still, do not forsake, The Truth you learned in the beginning. Wait upon the Lord, and hope will rise, As stars appear when day is dimming.

God You are my God. And I will trust in You and not be shaken. Lord of peace renew, A steadfast spirit within me, To rest in You alone.

Stuart Townend , Keith Getty & Kristyn Getty Copyright © 2008 Thankyou Music

Reflection:

This song transports me to a place of peace and fully resting in Jesus. A time when I had to wait.

There are so many seasons of waiting in our lives.

Waiting to conceive, waiting for exam results, waiting for birthdays, waiting for the results of medical investigations, waiting for holidays to come around, waiting for a job offer to come. Not all are bad, but they all involve waiting.

The problem with waiting is not having all the answers. We’d like to know yesterday what God wants us to know tomorrow.

Pregnancy is often a happy wait, in anticipation of meeting your baby. Sometimes though, it’s fraught with worry and waiting involves waiting to see if the doctor’s predictions were right. To find out what ‘malformation’, ‘soft markers’, ‘chromosomal disorder’ will mean for you.

For us, surrounded in prayer and in a deep understanding that God was in control, that wait was peaceful. But we did still face the unknowns of medical conditions anticipated but that could not be confirmed until the baby was here. The words of Lamentations 3 v 25 not able to leave my head throughout those months, The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. And so it has been for us.

Joy came after the wait.

Joy was even present in the wait.

Joy that came from the peace and strength that could only come from Him.

Waiting, proper waiting, builds character and should push us to depend on God. If you think about life with kids, it’s not a controlled set of events, it’s a journey and the mess and chaos of everyday is often where lives are changed. Memories come from the big moments, but character? It builds from the everyday. And as God’s children how much more He longs to grow us. So I don’t think we should be rushing from life event to life event, frustrated at the wait. Because it’s in the waiting that God will be teaching us about ourselves, growing our faith, refining us.

Maybe you’re in a state of waiting for something today too. It may be joyful anticipation of a much wanted baby’s arrival, it may be excitement at a holiday you’ve been planning for ages, but it may also be a time waiting for medical treatments to start working, or wondering how long it will be before your husband finds work again.

Whatever the waiting involves, let you soul be still this week in God’s presence. Rest in Him and trust that He is in control.

Let this advent period remind us that the wait is important.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. Luke 2 v 25