Drop thy still dews of quietness
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through earthquake wind and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.
~ J.G. Whittier
When we rest in silence and seek within our inner chambers our soul's center where the Spirit's throne abides we enter into a peace that surpasses all understanding. I came across the prayer above while reading a book by David Adam, The Eye of the Eagle. It is a book that meditates on the ancient hymn "Be Thou My Vision". I found this prayer a beautiful expression of this reality and wanted to share it with everyone. It is in his section at the end of a chapter that includes various "exercises" and meditations one can do to grow closer with God. He suggests praying this prayer multiple times throughout the day, slowly and mindfully, dwelling on the meaning of each word and the reality of which it speaks.
I love the last two lines "speak through earthquake wind and fire, O still, small voice of calm." It reminds me that even through the trials and busy nature of our lives, if we just center ourselves in the present moment, we can still hear the voice of God. It never leaves us, it is our focus that leaves Him and which makes us feel alone at times. For we are never truly alone, that is just an illusion that we sometimes buy all too readily into. We just need to find ways that work for us to "tune-in" to God's gentle whisper that beckons us forward to experience greater dimensions of His peace and love, which is His presence made manifest.
I am just as guilty as the next person in letting life's distractions carry me away from the peace and presence of God. When I find this happening I can't help but feel a bit of sorrow, for it doesn't have to be that way and many times it's being lost in those distractions that I find myself more apt to sin and wound those around me. And then there's the cycle of feeling guilty and sometimes in our guilt we feel unworthy to enter back into the presence of God. Well, that's also a lie! God always is there to welcome us back with open arms, that's why he sent Jesus, so that our sins and shortcomings, our transgressions could be cleansed from us and we could enter into His presence with a clean heart.
May we all take the time today to seek God's presence and be restored and refreshed, letting the Spirit's life giving waters flow through us. May we all find ways that work for us that help our hearts "tune-in" to the gentle whispers of God.
What are some ways that you find helpful in centering yourself in His presence? Prayer? Meditation? Worship? Please share in the comments section! :)