HOPE in Stillness
As I hopelessly watched the NFL players react to Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the field during Sunday Night Football, I couldn’t help but see God working. In an instant, the Bengals stadium went from a place of excitement and cheers to a place of stillness and prayer. Players who had fierce facial expressions seconds before, now had tears flowing from their eyes. The opposing teams and fans came together to console and comfort each other, becoming a team of one… hoping and praying for the health of one. There was a stillness that punctuated the air; enabling us to see God in things we otherwise would not have seen if Damar’s heart hadn’t stopped.
In the stillness, God was there. He was there in the comforting hugs and closeness of the players and staff. God was there in the still pictures of those players with crosses on their cheeks and concern in their eyes. He was there with the players on bent knees and bowed heads. God was there in the massive team huddle that shielded Damar while they prayed for his well-being. There is a powerful message in an event that shakes such strong humans to their knees. God was there in the stillness that emanated throughout that stadium, radiating a powerful message of HOPE. In that stillness, football and winning no longer mattered… nothing mattered except the health of one and the HOPE in the heavy hearts of those watching.
It has been said that you can live life as if nothing is a miracle or… you can live life as if everything is a miracle. I choose everything as opposed to nothing. However, my “miracle view” wasn’t something I was born with… it’s a mindset I’ve grown into. (To be totally transparent, I will always be in this growth phase.) In our hustle, bustle, and hurry up world, it is almost painful to be still enough to witness miracles. Meditating can seem excruciating at times as our minds drown in an ocean of emails, texts, social media posts, news events, and deadlines. Yet, in all of the day-to-day drama, God is there.
God is always there. He is there in a hug and a huddle. He is there in a tear and a tackle. He is there in a collision and a collapse. Everywhere… God is there. And while He is everywhere, it can also feel like He is nowhere. It is in the nowhere moments, when we need to be still to hear Him and feel His HOPE. It is in the stillness where we hear His voice and feel His presence the most. God desires an intimate relationship with each one of us and intimacy requires stillness and silence to genuinely experience it.
God does not have favorites, but He does have intimates… those who love Him and yearn to hear His voice through all the worldly noise. You see, God is always there… He never leaves you or forsakes you. It is in the stillness moments where we are closest to Him and His HOPE. In the stillness moments, we can learn from His Word, have a conversation with His Spirit, and feel His love as we pray. Prayer is more than asking God for things, it is a genuine conversation with God; the quieting of our soul to hear His personalized messages while nuzzling into His HOPE. Whether your soul can be still in nature or a comfy chair, by the fire or near a candle, in a cup of tea or a cup of soup… whatever or wherever you can still your soul… calendar time in your daily schedule for stillness filled with prayer and HOPE.
As we continue to pray for Damar’s heart, let’s take care of our own hearts by learning to be still to hear God, feel God, and see God in everything. Yes, God turns all things for good to those who love Him, therefore, we can find HOPE in all things. Yes, God is always there, especially when we allow our souls to be still enough to hear, feel, and see Him while huddling in His HOPE.