Summer before my freshman year of college I was sitting in a mall in my home town. There was a gentleman on the bench next to me and a conversation sparked. He was an older man and as we spoke niceties he discovered that I would be heading to college soon. His exact words to me were, “You better be careful, there are some crazy people out there.” I chucked and so did he. Although I had never intended to be a part of the college “craziness,” (you know, the drinking, partying every weekend, not remembering what happened the next morning kind of lifestyle), I really appreciated his words.
There was a moment of silence and then he said this to me:
“People need to just stop, most of the worlds problems would be solved if people would just stop. STOP hating, STOP drinking and smoking, STOP looking down on each other…JUST STOP!”
I have thought about this day several times throughout my college experience; this conversation with a seemingly random person has stuck with me for over two years now. I sometimes apply that idea to my own life, I cannot do anything about the rest of the world but I can do something about me. The Lord has also reminded me of this conversation several times:
JUST STOP. STOP worrying, STOP fighting, STOP looking down on yourself, STOP searching for love and fullfillment in things other than me. JUST STOP.
The bible tells us several times throughout Psalms to Be Still.
In Psalm 46:10 the Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted amoung the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Sometimes life seems busy, crazy, and out of control but we have to be able to just stop and just be still. Our current situation is not our final destination…we have to make sure we focus on knowing who God is and that he is always there to help us when the storms of life get rough (Mark 4:39). It is so amazing to me that the Lord continues to be there for me through heartbreak, through loss, through the times where I ignored him completely to continue down my own path.
Today, I reflect on where I might be if I had remembered to just stop. If I had stopped to seek God more, ask God more, or listen to God more. I find myself wondering why it is so hard to trust and wait on the Lord. The bible tells us over and over to trust him, we see an example of this command in Proverbs 3:5
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,”
and David tells us in the first part of Psalm 37:7,
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.”
So even though the Lord tells us in his word to trust him and also to wait, I find both of those things to be so difficult in those hard times. This is why the advice to just stop becomes so important to me. I need to just stop trying to take control over the things in my life that were never mine to begin with and start trusting in the Lord and waiting for Him to move in my life.