The Power of Stillness

Jesus has been arrested and falsely accused. The high council’s next step is to send him to Pilate. As Pilate interrogates Jesus, Christ refuses to strike back. He refuses to plead his innocence before his accusers. Instead, Jesus displays the power of stillness.

Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law—the entire high council—met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate the Roman governor.

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

When the leading priests kept accusing Jesus of many crimes, Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?”

But Jesus said nothing. Much to Pilate’s surprise.

Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner—anyone the people requested. One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who committed murder in an uprising.

The crowd went to Pilate and asked him to release a prisoner as usual.

“Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked. (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.)

But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus.

Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

“Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

(Mark 15:1-15 NLT)

The day when Jesus stood alone

And felt the hearts of men like stone,

And knew He came but to atone–

That day “He held His peace.”

They witnessed falsely to His word,

They bound Him with a cruel cord,

And mockingly proclaimed Him Lord;

“But Jesus held His peace.”

They spat upon Him in the face,

They dragged Him on from place to place,

They heaped upon Him all disgrace;

“But Jesus held His peace.”

My friend, have you from far much less,

With rage, which you called righteousness,

Resented slights with great distress?

Your Savior “held His peace.”

Taken from Streams in the Desert

The power of stillness.

Oh, that I practiced it to a greater measure than I do and let God answer on my behalf.

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But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. Mark 15:3 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

Sing Our Praise

In the morning, while it is still dark outdoors, a wren happily sings a song for all to hear.

I eagerly look forward to the bird’s song each day as I sit at the breakfast table. The song reminds me even when it’s dark, even when there may not be anyone around to hear us, even if no one knows we exist, it is good to sing our praise to the Lord who created us.

It is good to sing our praise first thing each day in thanks for all God is and all God has done and all God will do.

It is good to remember…God sees. God hears. God knows.

God sees when others act like we’re invisible. God sees when we make him proud.

God hears when our pain is too deep for words. God hears when our praises rise up to him in song and pray.

God knows when our heart breaks. God knows when our heart overflows with the good things he provides.

The following untitled poem comes from Streams in the Desert. I hope it brings a song to your lips just as surely as a song rises from the wren’s throat.

Don’t let the song go out of your life
Though it chance sometimes to flow
In a minor strain; it will blend again
With the major tone you know.
What though shadows rise to obscure life’s skies,
And hide for a time the sun,
The sooner they’ll lift and reveal the rift,
If you let the melody run.
Don’t let the song go out of your life;
Though the voice may have lost its trill,
Though the tremulous note may die in your throat,
Let it sing in your spirit still.
Don’t let the song go out of your life;
Let it ring in the soul while here;
And when you go hence, ’twill follow you thence,
And live on in another sphere.

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Sing to the Lord, all the world!
Worship the Lord with joy;
    come before him with happy songs!

 Acknowledge that the Lord is God.
    He made us, and we belong to him;
    we are his people, we are his flock.

Enter the Temple gates with thanksgiving;
    go into its courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise him.

The Lord is good;
    his love is eternal
    and his faithfulness lasts forever. Psalm 100

I wish you well.

Sandy

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You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

Pause for Poetry-Bells Across the Snow

Bells Across the Snow

O Christmas, merry Christmas,

Has it really come again,

With its memories and greetings,

With its joy and with its pain!

Minor chords are in the carol

And a shadow in the light,

and a spray of cypress twining

With the holly wreath tonight.

And the hush is never broken

By laughter light and low,

As we listen in the starlight

To the “bells across the snow.”

 

O Christmas, merry Christmas,

It’s not so very long

Since other voices blended

With the carol and the song!

If we could but hear them singing,

As they are singing now,

If we could but see the radiance

Of the crown on each dear brow,

There would be no cry to cover,

No hidden tear to flow,

As we listen in the starlight

To the “bells across the snow.”

 

O Christmas, merry Christmas,

This nevermore can be;

We cannot bring again the days

Of our unshadowed glee,

But Christmas, happy Christmas,

Sweet herald of goodwill,

With holy songs of glory

Brings holy gladness still.

For peace and hope may brighten,

And patient love may glow,

As we listen in the starlight

To the “bells across the snow.”

Frances Ridley Havergal from Streams in the Desert.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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Stay Where God Puts Us

It’s been my experience that sometimes we are reluctant to stay where God puts us.

We believe we could be of more use some place else. Our talents and skills could serve a better purpose in other arenas. That kind of thinking removes God’s sovereignty from the equation. It says we know better than the One who spoke the world into being. The One who created us for such a time as this.

God knows where, when, and how we can best serve him throughout each stage of our lives. When we look back, we usually see that. Until the next time God tells us to stay where he puts us, and it is a place or time we aren’t so sure we agree with, that is.

Right now I’m going through an in-depth study of Gideon from the Book of Judges. One thing I read today, which I’d like to share with you, is that God uses our weaknesses to exhibit his strength. Especially when we stay where God puts us.

The following poem taken from Streams in the Desert speaks to this.

I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I will, dear Lord,

Though I wanted so badly to go;
I was eager to march with the “rank and file,”
Yes, I wanted to lead them, You know.
I planned to keep step to the music loud,
To cheer when the banner unfurled,
To stand in the midst of the fight straight and proud,
But I’ll stay where You’ve put me.
 
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I’ll work, dear Lord,
Though the field be narrow and small,
And the ground be neglected, and stones lie thick,
And there seems to be no life at all.
The field is Your own, only give me the seed,
I’ll sow it with never a fear;
I’ll till the dry soil while I wait for the rain,
And rejoice when the green blades appear;
I’ll work where You’ve put me.
 
I’ll stay where You’ve put me; I will, dear Lord;
I’ll bear the day’s burden and heat,
Always trusting You fully; when sunset has come
I’ll lay stalks of grain at Your feet.
And then, when my earth work is ended and done,
In the light of eternity’s glow,
Life’s record all closed, I surely will find
It was better to stay than go;
I’ll stay where You’ve put me.
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After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” Matthew 2:13 (NLT)
I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry – One Day When Walking Down the Street

One Day When Walking Down the Street

One day when walking down the street,

On business bent, while thinking hard

About the “hundred cares’ which seemed

Like thunderclouds about to break

In torrents, Self-pity said to me:

“You poor, poor thing, you have too much

To do. Your life is far too hard.

This heavy load will crush you soon.”

 

A swift response of sympathy

Welled up within. The burning sun

Seemed more intense. The dust and noise

With rasping blast of blowing horn

Incensed still more the whining nerves,

The fabled last back-breaking straw

To weary, troubled, fretting mind.

 

“Ah yes, it will break and crush my life;

I cannot bear this constant strain

Of endless, aggravating cares;

They are too great for such as I.”

So thus my heart consoled itself,

“Enjoying misery,” when lo!

A “still small voice” distinctly said,

“‘Twas sent to lift you–not to crush.”

I saw at once my great mistake.

 

My place was  not beneath the load

But on top! God meant it not

That I should carry it. He sent

It here to carry me. Full well

He knew my incapacity

Before the plan was made. He saw

A child of His in need of grace

And power to serve; a puny twig

Requiring sun and rain to grow;

An undeveloped chrysalis:

A weak soul lacking faith in God.

 

He could not help but see all this

And more. And then, with tender thought

He placed it where it had to grow–

Or die. To lie and cringe beneath

One’s load means death, but life and power

Await all those who dare to rise above.

 

Our burdens are our wings; on them

We soar to higher realms of grace;

Without them we must ever roam

On plains of undeveloped faith,

(For faith grows but by exercise

In circumstance impossible.)

 

O paradox of Heaven. The load

We think will crush was sent to lift us

Up to God! Then, soul of mine,

Climb up! Nothing can e’er be crushed

Save what is underneath the weight.

 

How may we climb! By what ascent

Will we crest the critical cares

Of life! Within His word is found

The key which opens His secret stairs;

Alone with Christ, secluded there,

We mount our loads, and rest in Him.

Mary Butterfield

Streams in the Desert

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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