“Be still, and know that I am God.
Until the age of twelve I lived on a dairy farm with my parents and four siblings. We never went on vacation. Neither of my parents had been on a plane. Our lives were full and hard-working and centered on the 70 acres and the dairy cows that comprised our farm. Here I learned to trust God, especially as our dreams of farming crumbled. I have not had a chance to go back to that farm except for a quick visit, but I know if I could, I would remember and experience anew the presence of God as He met me there in hard times and young faith.
I have spread my wings quite a bit since those early years of farm-centered life. I was the first to garner a passport when I studied abroad during college. And now, as many overseas mission projects have led me to the throes of settling into a long-term call overseas, I wonder at this beloved verse in the psalms.
It is here, in this new country thousands of miles from that farm, as I search for the strength to live in confidence as the woman God has made me to be, that I look at the whole of this verse with fresh eyes. The first line is quoted and plastered on plaques, mugs, magnets, and frames, but rarely is the ending included. But, oh, how the presence of God, in this stillness of knowing Him, glorifies His Name “among the nations… in (all) the earth!”
Overseas living can so easily be romanticized or glamorized. It is true, living in another country brings many wonderful, enriching, experiences of culture, life, and new worlds. The magnificence of the nighttime glory of Budapest rivals any other beauty in the world. There is rich history, culture, fashion. But, what would any of this be without the presence of God?
I have found, in meditating on this verse, that I am embracing the central journey that leads to the only thing that will last in the end: the Glory of God lifted up in THIS nation! An elaborate program or cutting edge methods or intensive study of culture and language, while each are a part of the hard work it takes to reach people of another culture, fall flat if they lack the presence of God in the midst of those communicating the Gospel through His power.
I am only seven months into this move and adjustment to life here. It has been incredibly humbling, anxiety-stirring and seemingly failure-laden, but I am learning that woven throughout is the struggle to know, really, really know, when so much is different, the same reality of God that first touched me in a small dairy farm in Pennsylvania. It is child-like trust in the Infinite God that He is, who is in big and small ways, drawing the WHOLE WORLD to Himself, that must be my lifeline and yours too, wherever you are.
Abby is a small-town loving, big city adventurer. She and her husband have worked with high school students most of their lives! Since their internship in Budapest, Hungary in 2005-2006, they have been working with the ministry of CRU. In May of this year, they moved to Hungary answering God's call to work long-term with the students of Central and Eastern Europe. Abby loves to laugh, especially at herself, has a passion for God and making Him known and is ever learning how to do that with three small children, ages 5, 3 and one month. She wouldn't trade the journey for anything! She blogs regularly at Fan the Flame
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