#amrecovering: be still

I bought this mug in April, about two months after I left hospital. It reminded me of something I felt God had said to me while I was in hospital: Be still and know that I am God (Ps 46:10).

Throughout my illness I prayed constantly, begging God to make me better, to take away my anxiety. At the height of my illness, I kept asking why, why wouldn’t he help me? But the moment I went into hospital, all that stopped. It was as if God was saying: hush, be still, stop trying, rest … which was also what my consultant said to me. As a result, I did stop. I even stopped praying, and I felt a sense of peace I’d not felt before. I believe that’s when my healing started.

Deep down, I knew God didn’t mind that I wasn’t talking to him; it was like there was a companionable silence between us. Later, the words of the hymn ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’ began to play in my mind … just one phrase: till all our strivings cease. This has stayed with me ever since. I later found out that the word ‘still’ in Psalm 46:10 is better translated as ‘without striving’. I know there are things I need to do to stay mentally healthy, but I know I don’t have to strive to do them; I can rest in them with a sense of ease.

Incidentally, I am praying again, but in a different way, a more meditative way … I don’t feel I need to always verbalise my thoughts to God. He already knows what I want to say; I just need to listen.

“Hope shines brightest in our darkest hour.” Anon.

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