Be Still and Know? Dear God, You Must Be Joking.

Be still and know?
Seriously God? Do you know what you’re asking?

DON’T YOU SENSE THIS, GOD? That right now, I’m crawling out of my skin? This skin, by the way, that YOU put me in? This skin that looks freakishly “fine” on the outside, trapping me inside an unfathomable reality? This skin that’s supposed to insulate my soul? This skin that entombs me, burying me beneath layers of aching flesh and rivers of boiling blood? Be still and know? Dear God, you must be joking.

DON’T YOU HEAR THIS, GOD? That right now, my ears are roaring? These ears, by the way, that YOU gave to me? These ears that still listen, patiently paralyzed, every time he utters the sound of yet another secret? These ears that still echo a cacophony of muffled horror, all at a volume that I cannot mute? Be still and know? Dear God, you must be joking.

DON’T YOU SEE THIS, GOD? That right now, my eyes are under assault, my sight dominated by images and words I cannot unsee? These eyes, by the way, that YOU gave to me? These eyes that once surveyed a broad field of vision, now immovably locked in one glaring direction? These eyes that are constantly throbbing, deep in their sockets, seizing against the torrents of tears, threatening to drown me? To dehydrate me? To dissolve me? Be still and know? Dear God, you must be joking.

DON’T YOU COMPREHEND THIS, GOD? The speed at which my mind is racing? This mind, by the way, that YOU gave to me? This mind that entertains the darkest of nightmares, against my own will, as if somehow possessed? Accelerating automatically, autonomically, as if by default? This mind that splits into a thousand directions, unexpectedly, at the drop of a hat? This mind that simply WILL NOT not slow down, no matter how desperately I scramble to restrain it? Be still and know? Dear God, you must be joking.

DON’T YOU FEEL THIS, GOD? The enormity of these emotions that completely engulf me? These emotions, by the way, that YOU gave to me? These feelings that are seemingly more powerful than I am, that frighten me with the force of their sway and persuasion? These emotions that overwhelmed me with hope yesterday, only to thrust me back toward hopelessness (or worse) tomorrow? Once upon a time, God, I cherished my emotions, as they ushered me toward communion with You—enlivening, enlightening, in tune, and in touch. What’s up with this disarming emotional devolution, God? These feelings so intense, they surge in defiance of every known precedent? In unpredictable directions? For indeterminate durations? These emotions that undermine me, immobilize me, incapacitate me, simply by the nature of their blatant inconsistency? Be still and know? Dear God, you must be joking.

DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT’S BREAKING DOWN IN ME, GOD? The remnants of my faith in You, unraveling rapidly, against my better judgement? This faith, by the way, that YOU put inside of me? This faith-turned-crisis-of-faith, quickly escalating, nearing a desperate state of emergency? A terminal outcome? A point of no return? This faith that I’ve offered You, buried beneath the rubble of Our beloved mountaintops? This trust that I’ve placed in You, hanging by one tenuous, trembling thread? This desire that I’ve felt for You, now hollow and dispassionate? This hope that I’ve held out for You, ever more harrowed and halting and anemic? This confidence that I’ve drawn from You, now impotent? Inaccessible? Ineffective? Unresponsive? Don’t You believe what’s going on with me, God? I’m trying to tell You something, here. Are You getting it?

Be still and know?

Dear God, please don’t be joking.

***
Part Two
***

Be still and know?
Seriously, My dear one. How I know what I’m asking!

YES, I’M ASKING YOU TO BE STILL AND KNOW. Even as you’re crawling out of your skin, I invite you to curl up against the warmth and softness of Mine. Here in My arms, there is no aching, no boiling, no tension. Held lovingly by Me, there is no undercurrent of intensity. There’s no bodily confinement. There’s no threat of internal combustion. Here, there’s only comfort and closeness and freedom of being. I invite you to be still, and to know that My embrace will always be safe—not only because I am God, but because I am your God, and there isn’t one single cringe of reality that will ever freak Me out.

Yes, I’m asking you to be still and know. Even as your ears roar with deafening disharmony, I am singing love and life into your soul. Even in the silence I know you are craving, I will carry the cadence of Our beautiful chorus, whispering the words We’ve composed together in honor of Our story. I invite you to be still, and to know that My sounds will always be quieting—not only because I’m God, but because I am your God, and there isn’t one single note of cacophony that will ever drown Me out.

Yes, I’m asking you to be still and know. Even as your eyesight is flooded with tears over images We never wanted to see, I am receiving your tears; I am counting them, and I’m making them count. Even as your eyes are aching and blurry, weary from visibility sans vision, I see you, and I see for you. I see you happy and healthy and whole. I see where We’re going, and I see when We’ll get there. I see you seeing Me with deepening perspective, and I see Us re-visioning the terms of Our future relationship. I see the path ahead of you, and I long for you to give your vigilant eyes a strategic reprieve. It’s okay to close your eyelids for awhile, beautiful girl, because My eyes never get tired; while you get your rest, I am forever alert. I invite you to be still, and to know that My vision for you will always be clear—not only because I’m God, but because I am your God, no matter how many rivers we flood with Our tears.

Yes, I’m asking you to be still and know. Even as your mind lurches ahead at warp speed, hurtling toward awful and involuntary places. I invite you to send ALL of that momentum in My direction. I am never confounded by conflicting information, incongruous realities or obtuse orientations. My thoughts are eternally cool and collected, and My mind isn’t contorted by trauma’s mental choreography. When you can’t focus, concentrate, contemplate or figure things out, consider that My cue to dump everything into My arms. It’s okay to clear your mind for awhile, beautiful girl—because as you do, I’m calmly designing a roadmap for Our travels together. I long for you to give your mind a break, a respite from navigating this dizzying and terrifying terrain. I invite you to be still, and to know that My mind will always be ready, poised to take over, active and aware—not only because I’m God, but because I am your God, and there isn’t one single fact about your world that will ever confuse Me.

Yes, I’m asking you to be still and know. Even as you’re swept into that riptide of ebullient emotions, I am “feeling the feels” right alongside you. I will never let your emotions get the best of you (I’m saving the best of you for Me), and I won’t let your emotions have the final say in this season of your life. As your God, I will hold your hand through every unsolicited sentiment, and I will have your back as you approach every stirring. I will be your ever-present partner, as you traverse this highly-charged emotional landscape. I will empower you to experience every unique and inimitable emotion, with absolute authenticity and radical self-acceptance, without judgment or pressure or presupposition. There’s something else I invite you to know, My dear one, and it’s something important: I will not prevent any emotion from touching your soul—neither the good, nor the bad, nor the ugly, nor the beautiful. Truth be told, I love you too much (and I respect you too highly) to filter from you the impact of these soulful encounters, to steal from you the lessons I know you’ll absorb through surviving each one. Instead of aversion, I invite you to immersion. I welcome you to lean deeply into Me and My presence (keep leaning! come even closer!)—then together, We’ll lean fully and safely into your most intensive emotions. I invite you to be still, and to know that We can handle Our emotions—not only because

I’m God, but because I am your God (and because you are My dear one)—and there isn’t one single feeling that can ever overwhelm Me.

Yes, I’m asking you to be still and know. Even though your faith in Me feels precariously fragile, I am not going anywhere. Not then. Not now. Not ever. I invite you to let it all out: all of your fears, grief, anger, disappointment, doubts, abandonment and betrayal. Give voice to your disillusion, your criticism, your cynicism. I promise that I will hear you, and I promise that I will believe you; I won’t contradict your positions, nor try to talk you out of them. I am solid enough to handle however you feel about Me—good, bad, indifferent or in-transition. In the meantime, I will ceaselessly nurture My convictions of promise and devotion toward you. I will never stop loving you, even at times when you’re fiercely angry with Me. I will never stop protecting you, even at times when you’re suffering from wounds you believe I’ve inflicted. I will never stop treasuring you, even at times when you feel less than deserving of My adoration. I will never stop defending you, against any lies that others may assert as your truth. I will continue standing for integrity and reality, especially in a world where deception runs rampant. I will never stop hearing you, even when you tell Me the same thing a million, billion, trillion, gazillion times. I will never stop inviting you to ask Me “Why, God?”—even when My answers leave Us both wanting more. I will never stop feeding you, even when that lump in your throat feels enormous, when you simply can’t swallow one more morsel, offered against the backdrop of so much uncertainty. I will give you space when you need time away from Me—yet I will always make sure you know where to find Me. I will love you without condition, and I will heal you, My beautiful girl, with no strings attached. I will STILL WATERS for you, My beloved, to give you a break from this work when you need it. And I will MOVE MOUNTAINS on your behalf, My dear one—not only because I’m God, but because I am your God—and because being your God is My favorite job in this whole wide world.

Be still and know that I am God. Seriously, My dear one. I don’t joke about such things.