Standing Still - Staying Silent

The Words turned bold and leaped right off the page at me:

“And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.’” - Exodus 14:13-14

The message reverberated through my bones like only His Word can.

Just. Be. Quiet.

It’s the part I had missed, you know? I remember the “stand still and see salvation” but forget to shut my mouth. Sometimes it’s all greenery and gorgeousness on the surface and shark skeletons underneath but when I open my mouth what’s inside will come out. What’s inside is often chaotic. And dark. And bitter. That word I don’t like (“bitter”) meets the Word that gives life this morning and I know:

There are some things I need to stop talking about. Words are like water to a root of bitterness. They are. It is how it is.

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Completely by accident (and most likely not) a book by Lanette Kinsey comes across my cataloging desk this morning. There are three steps, she says, to killing a root of bitterness, three things to do:

1.) Shut up

2.) Die

3.) Praise

When I want to talk about it, shut up. Sure, confide in mentors and safe places, but learn to discern when the water of my words is keeping something alive long after it would have naturally expired.

When I want to remind myself how right I am, how justified I am, when I seek restitution, when I crave vindication, I must die to my selfish desires and my own ambitions. They were wrong, yes. But that was yesterday, this is today, and another day is another practice in dying. That’s how He made us, with bodies that degenerate daily. That’s how He wants us, the inner man crucified with Christ.

When I want to complain, when my vocal chords are straining against the wrongs committed against me and I am convinced I’ll feel better if I just get it out one more time, I must praise. There is enough of His goodness to go around. Enough grace to ground me. I must let it reverberate long and loud in my life.

There is enough of His goodness to go around, enough grace to ground me, if I will choose to see it - if I will let go and let it.

There are things I can do nothing about, a past I cannot change, a future I cannot dictate.

That’s fine.

All I really need do is stand still and stay silent.

It’s then that I see salvation.