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Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God.

I read that the Hebrew word for “be still” is better translated as let go. The above verse would then read - Let go, and know that I am God.

Let go of your worries and anxiety, and know that I am God. Let go of your fears and burdens, and know that I am God. Let go of whatever is holding you back from experiencing My love, and know that I am God. Release all the negative so that you can accept My gifts of peace, comfort, and joy, and know that I am God.

Be still. Let go. And know that I am God.

“Each day is a breath of fresh air from God – a time to celebrate all of God’s perfect gifts.”

I read this quote the day after hearing distressing news about a loved one. It came during a week that was blow after blow of sad and sometimes frightening circumstances.

A breath of fresh air! I wonder! I’m so angry at the circumstances of life and sad and every other conceivable emotion that it is hard to consider that this day is a breath of fresh air. And yet, I hear God say to me - I know. I know your anger and sadness and all the emotions flowing through you, and I will sit with you. And I ask not that you rejoice in the circumstances, but I ask that you rejoice in my presence. God is with me. On the mountain tops and in the valleys. When I sing with joy and when I wail in pain, God will not leave me. And that is something I can celebrate.

I once read a devotion in which the author gave an analogy that our hearts can become calloused just like our feet and hands. Our hands and feet become calloused through use, and the skin becomes tough and no longer tender. The process of developing a callous can be painful, but eventually the skin becomes toughened and no longer hurts.

Sometimes we long for a calloused heart to protect ourselves from pain. When we allow that to happen, then not only do we not feel pain, but we cannot feel the joyful side of emotion either. When our hands are calloused, it can be difficult to truly sense touch as we did before the calluses. If we allow calluses to form on our hearts, then we might not be able to fully experience love and joy and happiness.

The deep pain that we experience in life can be palpable. It is the pain that we are certain we cannot endure. The pain when the heart feels that it cannot continue to beat. When the lungs cannot fill with air. The pain is real. And it is physical, emotional, and spiritual. While sometimes the pain seems like more than we can bear, it means that we can also experience deep and meaningful love. It does not seem possible to have one without the other.

If we build callouses to shut out the pain, then we also have shut out the love from friends and even God. While I do not enjoy the painful times, I will accept them so that I can also bask in joy and love. I do not want to give up on love so that I can avoid pain. That is not fully living. So, I will take every second of the joyful and I will absorb it and store it so that when I need it, it will be salve.

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