Last week my son and I chased after a little blue racquet ball in a small enclosed room. We whacked the thing with our rackets, chasing hard from one end to the other. We were so focused on hitting it again and again that we didn’t stop to realize just how much effort it was taking out of us! When we stopped after 20 minutes, to get a drink of water, we suddenly realized how wiped out we were. Wow! That took me by surprise. It wasn’t until I slowed down…stopped…that I could see how much of my energy I had put into it. While I was focused on the ball, I didn’t notice. My efforts weren’t obvious to me. But once I stopped, I got a totally different perspective. WOW!

How much effort and energy–either emotional, mental, or physical–do I put into chasing after becoming “normal,” or of having a body I don’t despise or feeled betrayed by? I think sometimes I am so focused on some elusive “goal” (like I am on the blue ball in the racquetball court) that I don’t realize all the effort and energy I am putting into it.

Even so, I am so thankful that, even as I ask this question, God is confirming to my spirit that I have grown! It isn’t nearly so bad as it was before. I think there IS freedom on the wind! I can sense the change that God is bringing. Even now…yup. I know I have said this before, but the freedom I am tasting right now is different.

Psalm 46:10 in the New American Standard Version says: “Cease striving and know that I am God.”

This idea…”cease striving”–intrigues me as “striving” definitely seems to define what I have done for so long relative to this pursuing something that always seems beyond my grasp. In the original languages, the word “striving” isn’t there, but is implied. The actual translation might be “Cease and know that I am God.” The word, “cease,” has many meanings, but translators felt in the NASB this was the most reasonable.

Using the Strong’s Concordance, the word translated “Cease” can have these many meanings:

–  to sink, relax, sink down, let drop, be disheartened, abate, abandon, refrain, forsake, to let go…

The NIV uses: “Be still…”
The Amplified Bible uses: Let be and be still…
The Holman Christian Standard Version says: “Stop…”

This reminds me of Jesus’ words to Martha…  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

I can almost hear the Lord saying to Martha: “Cease! Know I am God!”

How much of my striving, going, chasing, pursuing is hindering my ability to know the Lord is GOD Almighty! If I focus so much on what I chase after, is it possible it keeps me from really knowing the Lord in the way he wants to be known?

There is freedom in letting go of the chase. In sitting still. In waiting. In being. Quiet. Ah…rest.

In Jeremiah 6:16, the Word of God says:

This is what the LORD says: 
“Stand at the crossroads and look; 
ask for the ancient paths, 
ask where the good way is, 
and walk in it, 
and you will find rest for your souls. 
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

God forbid that we reject the rest that God promises. Let us CEASE our striving, our chase and, instead, stand and look…and ask HIM what HIS good way is…there is rest for my SOUL in that place. This is true freedom. Free from a constant chasing after the wind, after something to which God doesn’t call. The wonderful thing about seeking GOD is that HE wants to be found!

Seek the LORD while he may be found;
       call on him while he is near.
-Isaiah 55:6