The stillness of morning. It is my favorite time of day. Last week we had some mornings that the temperatures were in the single digits. On those days the frost hangs in the air and envelopes your face as soon as you open the front door. Billows of breath would fog the vision on our way up the driveway during the morning constitutional. Having a small puppy is a joy in one way, an inconvenience in another. The briskness is refreshing and the extreme cold certainly makes it pleasant to enter the kitchen again!
My mother and I recently made a trip to a nearby town, across the great river that divides us from our neighboring State. As we drove along the river road we kept watching the water. It was as still as a lake; the reflections from the hills across were perfectly mirrored and not a ripple could be seen. Mom exclaimed, "how can that river be flowing at all?" We both were thinking the same thing, all the while knowing that the river certainly was flowing south, making its way to the ocean just over 100 miles below. Though there appeared to be perfect stillness, the motion was obviously taking place below the surface.
As I read from the book of Luke, the account of the birth of our Lord Jesus, I come to chapter 2 where "the shepherds came with haste and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger". It says that "when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."(verse 19). Several times I have read instances where Mary did so. As I read on I came to the account where the child, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem and his parents supposed him to be among the company which was returning to Nazareth. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the doctors, hearing and asking questions. These with him were 'put out of whits' (astonished) at his understanding and answers, by the way. He told his parents, "how is it that ye sought me: wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" It actually said that they did not understand what he was saying to them. He was subject unto them, however, and went with them back to Nazareth. 2:51 says, "but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart."
Mary's stillness is a wonderful example to us of the verse in Psalm 46:10 which says, "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth." There are times in life that are perplexing and our mind begins to race and try to "run ahead of the Lord". These are the times that we need to be still and know that our Lord is in control. He is moving beneath our surface. "Stand in awe, and sin not; commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah." (Ps.4:4)
How awesome to think that this very God lives within my heart! There is nothing that I need to fear. He wants me to be faithful to his Word, be still and just let Him do the work that goes on "below the surface".
When Syd and I were first saved we were privileged to sit under the ministry of Pastor Norman Gibbs. Pastor was a "plodder". Walls could be falling in around him but no matter what happened in his life, he faithfully plodded along, teaching us by word and deed what it means to let God do the work. Our Lord knew that we needed these very teachings early on, as little babies in Christ. These are the fundamental things that we grew up knowing and, though God has plenty to still teach us, He gave us a strong foundation of his Word (of course) but also a tangible example to remember and follow.