“A gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4b
I used to be distressed reading that last verse. There didn’t seem to be very much “quiet” about me at all. It sounded boring, to be honest. And yet there it was, in the Bible, so I would pray, “God, help me to know how to do this!” And though I started praying that over 15 years ago, just now am I starting to understand what that can look like in my own life.
A gentle and quiet SPIRIT. Not a gentle and quiet PERSONALITY. Some people are by their very nature gentle and quiet in their personalities (ie my best friend since I was 10 years old!) And others are not. But we are all called to have a gentle and quiet SPIRIT.
In a conversation with one of my spiritual dads last week, he said, “Lauren, remember Jesus in the boat in the middle of the storm. He was sleeping. Every cell in His body was deeply at peace. And just like the other guys in the boat, people will try to draw you into their panic–their anxiety. BECAUSE He was so deeply at peace, Jesus affected the storm.” (!!!)
And I can’t stop thinking about that now. Not allowing circumstances to sweep me into the chaos of a storm but remaining deeply at peace in my spirit. Cultivating that inner quiet.
I’m a yeller, a shouter, a laugher, a dancer (or really just a jumper at this point but hoping to change that at some point in the future LOL!) and I get excited about things. I can’t help it. A fire starts to roar down in my belly and I cannot contain it. A few years ago, I read Colossians 1:29:
“For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
And I remember praying, “I want to know what that feels like!” I’ve caught glimpses of it, moments where I am compelled to pour out colors on a canvas, or skedaddle over to a person to pray over and encourage them, etc. etc. And I want more. And yet, at the very CORE of that unction and zeal, I can choose to be at REST, centered, because what I know from the Bible and what I have experienced about God has proven to me that:
1) He is GOOD
2) He is FAITHFUL
3) I can TRUST Him
4) He has made a Way for me to be with Him, now and forever, through Jesus.
5) Because of #4, my life makes sense; my life matters to Him, and I live for Him.
The image of the beekeeper caught my eye and made me pause, because of the depth in his gaze. Like he knows things, but isn’t going to gush them all out at once. (Also, he is probably thinking about something a little bit funny but trying not to smile for the photo.)
My word for this year is RESTRAINT. Sounds nice, right? Ha. At first it sounded rather, well, confining. But no. By His grace alone,
I will restrain my fears.
I will restrain my heart from taking offense.
I will restrain words from being spoken too soon (and some words from being spoken at all).
If at our core we know restraint, then we will be able to affect the storm from a position of peace.
The definition of Restraint is: a measure or condition that keeps someone or something under control or within limits.
Knowing who God is, and knowing who I am in Him, is a condition that allows me to hold zeal and be self-controlled at the same time–remaining within the limits (the safety) of His love and plans for me.
Aside from the raw knowing, there are practices that help me to keep on knowing (because forgetting seems to be a major human flaw) as well as seeking out to know more. I’ll share on that later, but for now, there’s this:
“Bold faith rests on the shoulders of quiet trust.” –Bill Johnson
I would absolutely love to know, how do you work to keep a quiet trust in your spirit?