Hello dear reader! I know I’ve been absent for at least a month (even longer since I’ve podcasted, and slowed way down on social media). I’d become overwhelmed with a variety of things – should I quit, start over, retire? I’m sure many of us are asking ourselves a lot of questions along these lines. Our world has changed so much hasn’t it? It may seem like it was a snowball that became an avalanche – because it did. While I was out walking with my Carolina Dog, Ezra, last Friday morning, I heard the Lord say clearly, “Kim, be still. KNOW that I AM God.” That’s from Psalm 46:10. It wasn’t the first time He’s said that to me during this time of low activity from me, it’s just that it found a landing place in me on Friday, FINALLY.
I’ve been actively seeking Him. I’ve been involved in a deep dive, face-to-face encounter with Him both personally and corporately. I’ve also been wrestling with so much, but then who of us haven’t UNLESS you are already in this place with Him?
You might ask, Dr. Kim is this a pet blog or a faith one? Yes, it is! Going forward it will always be so for me and many others who choose to no longer stay stuck in complacency or the status quo.
When the Lord said, “Kim, be still.” I literally stopped in my tracks walking. Ezra was running wildly around our half acre as he normally is lol, while I stayed still. I was listening to the Voice of God. I felt complete peace around me. I began to slow my breathing and just listen. I could hear the birds, felt the breeze, the morning cold, the sounds of the world waking up. I also heard God speaking to me complete thoughts.
Do we know what being still really means in our western world? I don’t think we do. We’re always distracted. Back in October during a monthly Zoom call with our small connect group (faith-based of course) meeting, a brother and friend in Jesus called it “focused distractions” based upon a story I told the group about Ezra as he’s always so fiercely focused on his distractions rather than on hearing me. As a sidenote, I’m not casting blame on him or me (blame is pointless) – he is being the consummate predator in his focus whereas I neglected good and proper training with him since he seemed impossible to me as you know if you’ve followed this blog at all over the last 2 1/2 years. Today, however, while I was simultaneously intensely focused on Jesus, I called Ezra to me gently during one of his focused distractions to see if he’d respond due to my calm posture. To my delight, he came right over to me and stayed with me until I released him. Jesus simply said, “See there?” I said, “Yes, Lord. That’s how You are with us – it’s your kindness that leads us to repentance.” Romans 2:4
The word repentance in scripture means to turn from what you were doing (away from God) and turn to Him. Ezra turned away from his distraction (which often equals not listening to me to do his own thing) and readily came to me. He CHOSE to come to me even though I could see he wanted very much to continue doing “his own thing“. I saw that as huge progress though because I didn’t restrain him in any way. I simply pet him and encouraged him with an “atta boy” which he really loves…probably because of my attitude when I say that to him.
Do you see the similarity between him and I? I was intensely focused on Jesus but called Ezra to me in that moment. Ezra was intensely focused on his own agenda but came to my call. It’s been said that our dogs mirror us in so many ways because quite frankly they ARE tuned into us even when we think they aren’t. They just have a different way about them according to their species UNLESS we teach them – as I said I’ve fallen short in that area with him but I’m working on it day-by-day.
Your question may be, how do you know it’s God talking with you? Because He speaks differently than me plus He often speaks scripture as answers that may not make immediate sense to me at first – which leads me on a treasure hunt to find out the meaning. Also, it is conscience speaking which is NOT in the soul (mind/will/emotions) but in the heart (spirit) where His Spirit connects with mine. It’s the purest form of communicating with anyone I’ve ever had! If none of the last two years had happened, would I have even gone this deep or stayed where I was? I suppose I’ll never know. As hard as it’s all been (for some it’s been SO, SO, SO hard), I’d not want to go back to “before“. I also want more than ever to go forward. Have I lost loved ones? Yes, including my mom. Are there days I wished I’d not made the decision to get another dog, especially one that’s been as challenging for me as Ezra has been during the most challenging time in the world currently? Yes. But then I’d sure have missed a LOT of what is needed to go forward because of him.
Over time I’ll be able to better share what I’ve learned about so much – both here and on the podcast.
So back to the topic…
Being still isn’t doing nothing, but rather abiding in the shalom of God. The word “shalom” has such depth of meaning including but definitely not limited to: nothing missing, nothing broken, made whole, peace, etc. Click on the hyperlinked word of shalom in this paragraph to learn more.
I am alive in Him! In His name. I’m assured no matter the circumstances in the world or even personally. Trusting in Him not in my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). I walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). So in Him, being still is active NOT passive! For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). I am transformed by the renewing of my mind, no longer conformed to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2). Entraining my heart to His. Tuned into His voice so I always follow Him (John 10:27).
It took me this long to breakthrough the chatter but now I can breathe and BE still in Him! Will you join me? Or rather, join Him as He is the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6.
A Carolina Dog by the name of Ezra taught me this!
Until next time…
Have a PAWSitively, tail waggin’, naturally healthy day!