When Being Still Is the Best Option

By Catherine Boyle
In Hope & Healing
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“…Be still, and know that I am God…” - Psalm 46:10

One day several years ago, a day like many others before it, the fervent prayer for one of my young adult children was answered yes, while an equally fervent prayer for my other young adult child was (again) answered no. On the same day, this familiar scripture passage was the day’s devotion.

The passage intends to convey peace and hope, even on days when life holds anything but. For that day, I chose not to wallow in despair, though admittedly, there were some tears. Facing the “no” answer time and again makes you a little less sensitive to the sting, but the sting still smarts.

But that day, even though there appeared to be no hope, I chose to have hope. I forced myself to sit still, and know that even another “no" is part of God’s plan, and I have a choice whether or not to trust God.

An incredibly valuable thing I’ve learned in hearing "no" repeatedly in prayers for this child is that the love my husband and I have for both of our children has become thoroughly separated from their accomplishments, and is solely focused on who each is as a human. With a long-delayed mental health diagnosis for one of them and an entirely different difficult season for the other, the situations each has faced have driven me to the bottom of my parental ability to make things better. I have been spiritually flattened.

The only thing that stands on a flat surface are words on the page. HIS Words on the page. Peace. Be still. And know that I AM is still God.

So, I chose to believe that He will nurture my child’s hurting heart. And we moved forward with a new plan of action.

God measures our faithfulness by overcoming, by working with what we’re given, not by results. Results are up to Him. Overcoming is, in part, doing what we can with what we have, even when part of what we have to overcome are mental health struggles.

Being still and knowing that God is in charge also means seeking the gifts in each person. Proverbs 24:3-4 says that wisdom builds a house, and knowledge fills its rooms with rare and beautiful treasures. These treasures are in part seeking and finding value in every person in the family, no matter their ability or disability. Building a family legacy in part means to find the place where each person fits.

The Church has the opportunity to show the world that God’s Words are true. When the Church digs in to love, understand, and be patient with all people—even those with mental health struggles—it builds our spiritual legacy.

Hope in Jesus is not in vain. He’s working all things together for my good and the good of my family, because we love Him and each other. By trusting that God sees everything, and He knows best, we patiently wait for God to act. When He does, the outcome is often far better than what I asked for in the first place. The key to seeing Him work is for me to sit still and know that He has a better plan yet to unfold.

Catherine Boyle is Mental Health Ministry Director, Blog Editor and Social Media Manager for Key Ministry.

Here at IBC we offer Grace Alliance classes for the loved ones of those who struggle with mental health challenges. (Family Grace groups). We also offer Living Grace groups for adults who struggle themselves with those challenges. You can find out more and register for either class at www.irvingbible.org/supportgroups.

The Grace Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit reshaping the future of mental and emotional health in the Body of Christ through accessible and affordable Christ-centered mental health resources.

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