By Karen DeArmond Gardner−

For the last two years God had the same word for me: seek Him. As 2012 drew to a close the word for 2013 changed to be still. I find comfort in distractions whether it is music or the television playing in the background. I don’t like complete silence even while reading or writing. My electronics are close by so while watching a movie or TV I am checking FB, email, IM or playing solitaire. I have used distractions most of my life to avoid hurt and intimacy. It has worked for me until now. Just the thought of being still unsettles me.

The Hebrew word for still is raphah; the root is to slacken. Used 45 times in the Old Testament, it is translated as lazy, cease, forsake, idle, weak or frail to name a few. Really? Sounds awful, and may I say,   b-o-r-i-n-g to sit back and do nothing.

“Standing still seems passive. It is not. It is a posture of resolve and stamina. It will take all my strength to stand on His promise and command ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ It is in the stillness I see God” (Priscilla Shirer). I would add it is in the stillness I hear God.

When Tom and I were dating we were getting to know each other, but only on a certain level. It was not until we were married that we knew each other by experience. We had sweet intimate moments while we dated, though it was nothing compared to what we experienced as a couple united in marriage. We were now able to see who we really are, naked and not ashamed. Well not ashamed too much! This is how God knows me. Nothing about me is hidden from Him. Unless I am willing to set time aside for Him, to share intimate moments with Him as His Bride, and set aside what I want to allow Him to be I AM, then I will miss something He wants to do— that which is above and beyond all I could ever imagine.

2013 is a big year for me, it is my last year to say I’m in my 50s. In October I step into the next decade. According to the standards of the outside world I am on the down swing with nothing much more to contribute. God, on the other hand, has big plans for me if I will take to time to be still. He will use the most unlikely of us at the most unlikely times of our lives.

The Bible is full of people God used, not when they were young but when they were not so young: Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Joshua and Caleb, to name a few. Caleb voiced it best in Joshua 14:11 “I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, I can still travel and fight as well as I could then.” Caleb was eighty-five years old and he and Joshua were the only two who left Egypt who actually crossed into the Promised Land. They kept their focus and believed the promise of God despite the grumblings of those around them. Long before the words of Psalm 46:10 were penned, Caleb and Joshua stood on the promise and the command.

Choose this day who you will serve. I choose to serve the Lord.

Join me on this journey as I share the ups and downs of my 59th year.

 

 

 

Karen DeArmond-Gardner: I found myself in my early 50′s shattered, divorced and without a job – moving to a new state to begin over again. There were times I thought the “start would stop me.” I had no clue what my purpose was and quite frankly thought I had messed up so bad that even God couldn’t put my life back together again. Within the last 6 years I started a new career, enjoyed being single, became a grandmother, reconnected with my family and at 57 I married the most amazing man ever. Because God never does anything small, He asks me to step out of my box and begin writing. Only God….if He did this for me, He will do it for you. Join us on the journey to discover Your Purpose Now.

10 Comments

  1. 1-21-2013

    Excellent!

    In worship yesterday we stopped for five minutes of silence with Him. It is a powerful time of listening to the special words He has for each one of us. Silence is my comfort and friend, so I strive for long periods of it in my day, and in those moments I want to hear everything He wants to tell me. Our comfort zones may differ, but the love we share for the Father is strong and bonds us together in one big eternal family.

    • 1-21-2013

      Thank you dear friend. You expressed the longing of my heart.

  2. 1-21-2013

    Karen,

    It seems God is asking so many lives to be ‘still’. He did not ask me though He set me up. From my husband leaving me, God set up for me to leave town. Crying every night not because I was supposed to in this heartbreaking time. It was because I did not want to have to call my sisters and girlfriends to cry on their shoulder when the harsh stark realities of why I was in another town alone. I felt abandoned, kicked out of my own town, and disjointed from my own peers. For fifteen months I was forced to seek him and face the hurt and take the hurt to Jesus. The sermons were clear and I heard His voice in encouragement and direction. Something permanent happened inside. I don’t understand all that Christ had did but it worked. I am back home and readjusting. My heart filled with pain and I had to trust Christ would hold it tenderly and heal it. I am not so afraid to face the pain but I know Christ will finish the job.

    • 1-21-2013

      Oh Gloria. What a time you have been through. I am not surprised Father wanted you to seek him. He wants to be your comfort. He will be your husband – protecting you, watching over you, providing all you need. Will keep you in prayer.

  3. 1-21-2013

    Karen, I too am learning to embracing stillness. My pastor says that the enemy shouts and God whispers. You can only hear whispers when you are still and quiet; but one little whisper from God can change everything. It is worth the time and energy to stop and listen. Let’s encourage each other in this endeavor.

    • 1-21-2013

      Agreed my friend.

  4. 1-21-2013

    Karen, thanks for the reminder. I don’t know why, but “being still” is much more difficult work for me than being active. But there’s the rub. As long as I view it as work, it will be work! But when I view it as a state of being, simply BEING (with God), then it will be as easy as breathing. Exhale cares. Inhale the One who cares. Exhale striving. Inhale the God of Peace. Yes! I can do this! I’ll join you this year, determining not to crowd my time and my mind so much that I crowd out God.

    • 1-21-2013

      Love your words. You are a beacon to us all.

  5. 1-27-2013

    Thank you for sharing your heart Karen. Extend grace to yourself..one moment of stillness at a time.

  6. 2-25-2013

    Only 2 more months until I reach the 60. Thank you for your post, this is where I believe God has me right now. I don’t like to be still either. I am looking forward to what God has in store for me. Please covenant to pray with me that I will have a willing spirit.

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