By Dr. Valerie A. Bussell
“Be still and know that I am God” -Psalm 46:10
I recently started a new daily devotional book using the practice of lectio divina. This small book is elegantly and simply titled by the Psalm: Be still and know that I am God.
The first few pages of the book compiled by Amy and Judge Reinhold (yes, the actor!) describe the ancient practice of lectio divina or “sacred reading” which uses scripture and silence to invite and then contemplate God’s presence or voice. While reading, I was reminded how important it is to build Christ-centered quiet and stillness into our increasingly frantic routines – for both our physical and spiritual well-being.
The Christian psychologist, Dr. Henry Cloud argues that getting out of the “noise to focus and be still” brings about very practical and physiological benefits like lower blood pressure and a stronger immune system. However, he adds that Christian contemplative prayer is very different from the more generic or New Age practice of meditation in that it focuses on a relationship with God rather than other secondary goals such as health (cited in Be Still, 2007, A. & J. Reinhold).
In terms of spiritual benefits, the book explains that to “rest in the Lord amidst it all” will bring a more intimate relationship with God helping us to stay grounded while engaged in our everyday busyness. These authors argue that our lives are not going to slow down or become less complicated so we must make deliberate choices to “power down” with God’s Word. This stillness in His Word will bring about a greater sense of personal peace and a stronger trust in the Lord.
We usually start the New Year with several new and healthy intentions. This year, let’s encourage each other towards a more deliberate (mindful) practice of quiet contemplation with God.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11:28-29 NIV