Saturday, October 13, 2012

Be Still

It seems that I have been going non-stop the last few weeks. In addition to working full time, being a husband and father, and giving leadership to the music ministry at church, I have been preparing for the last step in earning my pilot certificate: my practical test. Then, as if I wasn't feeling overwhelmed enough, I received a call from the examiner on Monday, asking if I could be available the following morning for my test. Yikes! I thought I would have a little more notice than that, but I had already run into several delays and just wanted to get it done. So I went ahead and scheduled for Tuesday morning.

I took one last practice flight Monday afternoon, and studied a little that evening. Before bed, God brought Philippians 4 to mind. Verses 6 and 7 provide this assurance of the peace that God offers:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
You'd think this would be second nature by now, but it's still easy for me to hold on to my anxiety! That night and the next morning I consciously gave my anxiety over to Him.

Tuesday morning, I flew the Cessna 162 from Lambertville, Michigan to Bowling Green, Ohio for my practical test. Despite a somewhat windy morning, my test went well. The examiner was great and actually made the morning enjoyable. And the best part? I am now a certificated pilot!

I have been looking forward to earning my pilot certificate, since my training and studying has been consuming a decent amount of my time, energy, and focus. Wednesday, after work, I had the house to myself for a few minutes and was going to lay down and rest. Yet I found myself anxiously pacing back and forth in the kitchen for no apparent reason. Another verse came to mind. Psalm 46:10 says
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Perhaps I've had so much going on that I have cultivated a lifestyle characterized by busyness and anxiety, rather than stillness and peace. I've been working hard to get things done, and not taking time to remember that He is God. He is the one who is in control, and He is the one who will make a path for us as we follow this calling into missionary aviation.

If you're like me (and I know I am), it can be hard to find time to be quiet before God, to meditate on who He is, and to allow Him to speak. So yesterday I took a half day off work and went to a nature preserve with my Bible and my journal. I just spent a couple hours enjoying creation, reading God's word, speaking what was on my heart, and listening to what He might want to say to me. It was a much-needed time of rest and relaxation.

I hope you'll join me in renewing my commitment to surrender my anxiety and receive His peace daily. Life won't always slow down when we want it to, but let's cultivate the practice of taking time every day to be still and know that He is God. Then, even when life gets crazy, we can have that peace that surpasses understanding, which only comes from truly knowing and trusting Him.

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