On Thursday, March 24th I walked into the urgent care clinic in Toronto to get a cast put on my right hand, which I just found out was fractured. At 19 years old, I had never broken anything or been terribly sick before, so the whole situation was completely new and uncomfortable for me. Not to mention, I was not in my home country nor had my parents by my side. The doctor put the cast on my right hand and told me it will be 4-6 weeks until it can come off.
My initial thoughts were “This can’t be too bad, a month or so isn’t too long.” It wasn’t until I realised all the things I couldn’t do that I began to panic. One of the major things being that I could barely write anymore. And I was like; “How am I supposed to spend time with God!?” Silly, I know, but over the past couple years writing and journaling has been a major way that I connect to God and hear His voice. Suddenly, when that was hindered I felt isolated and distant from God.
I hadn’t learned to be still.
Days after getting the cast, a friend said to me that God was calling me to “Be still and know.” (Psalm 46:10) And I was like “What could I get out of being still?” I realised that my response revealed my heart attitude towards being still. Little did I know that God was going to use this to create a drastic change in my life. Even if it was a messy, awkward and incredibly vulnerable process.
I figured that the reason this was so difficult was because I am quite driven and determined. Therefore the idea of learning to listen to that still small voice and quiet my heart terrified me. Moreover, I was afraid that by not doing something I would somehow miss God’s plan for my life. But the Father was calling me into deeper intimacy with Him and I realised that was far more significant than going after my goals out of my own strength and capability.
As the weeks dragged on I attempted (and failed) to spend time with God being still, just lying on my bed with music on. I was frustrated, tired and empty. Every time I tried, my anxious thoughts would become so loud in my mind. I gave up until it came to the day I was SUPPOSED to get my cast off.
I was so excited that day, but after a miscommunication I found out that I had to have the cast on for one. more. week. At this point I was at the end of myself. That may sound like an exaggeration but it is the truth. I felt helpless and frustrated. Looking back, I realised God was giving me a second chance. I came to a point of such weakness that I was desperate for my Father. I couldn’t do this without him. I couldn’t do life without Him.
The week following I spent time in stillness 3 times a day. Most often I would cry and simply let the Father wrap his arms around me. I expressed my frustrations to him and he gave me indescribable peace. Not only that, but a desire was built inside me to spend the whole day with Him and feel remarkably content. I never wanted to leave that place.
You see, we are not loved because of what we do but because of who we are. We are children of God. Which means, no matter what I am doing or NOT doing, I am perfectly and completely loved. Choosing to rest and be still will not inhibit God’s destiny in my life to play out. Because the reality is, He is in control of all that, not me.
Just like it says in Exodus 14:14; “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” He will fight for us, we don’t have to strive or stress. He is much more concerned with who we are than what we can do. He loves us in each passing moment. There is such a deep intimacy I experienced with the Father when I realised that at our weakest He gives the most strength (2 Corinthians 12:9). Being vulnerable is not weakness. Being still is not being passive. Rather, being vulnerable is hidden strength. Learning to be still in the Father’s love is an active response to him, an act of opening up your heart for him to love you and fill you with peace.
The day I got my cast off I was filled with excitement. I wanted to run around and high five everyone (which I did do, by the way). Suddenly when I came back to my room and was deciding what I should do for the rest of my lunch break, I heard the quiet voice of the Father inviting me to spend time with him. So I got down on my knees and I thanked Him. I thanked Him that my hand was no longer fractured and I was healed. I am thankful that I had that cast on, I am thankful that I was at the end of myself, I am thankful for the weeping and the frustration. You know why? Because it brought such a deep understanding of how present, fulfilling and real His love is.
Be still and know.
Know that you are loved.
Know that you are safe.
Know that you are His.