from Rachel: Be Still, My Soul. Calm Down

Turn to Psalm 131:2. What did David say he had done?

“He had stilled and quieted his soul.”

This phrase within this particular song of ascent compares David’s soul stillness to what? “A weaned child”

What do you think he meant?

“With calm composure and peacefulness of an older child rather than the pig-like rooting and seeking for milk of a hungry baby.”

[starred for emphasis] Matthew Henry put it this way, “When our condition is not to our mind, we must bring our mind to our condition.”

Read Psalm 46:10 and write how God expects us to behave before Him:

“Be still…”

[starred and underlined for emphasis] Do you trust Him if He changes up your structure, your security or points out your selfishness?

Consider these questions and journal a little about them here:

“I like to think I trust God, am peaceful and calm and accept His ways regardless. But I hate and fear change, especially to my structure and my security – I like a nice margin of notice and adjustment time. Also, I’m selfishly protective of my selfishness.”

Write down what you say most often.

  • “Be calm – deep breaths – in through the nose, out through the mouth
  • “Be less afraid – it’s going to be alright
  • “Be strong – cooperatively or defiantly
  • “Be patient – things will get normal again soon”

It’s interesting to note that the study asked you to circle the phrases that belong in your thought closet, and put an X on those that don’t; and you put both a circle and an X on the “Be strong” admonition.

What are the results (fruit) of those X’d “be” phrases (roots) in your life?

“If I tell my soul ‘Be strong, defiantly,’ the result is defying God’s will and not being where I’m supposed to be and doing what I’m supposed to do.”

And here, you answer the question raised in my earlier comment; basically, telling yourself to “Be strong” can mean two different things, one good and one bad… and this next answer addresses how it can be bad as well as good. I get it.

Let’s put some truth about the reality of anger in the closet so it will encourage you to quiet your soul.

  1. My anger does not achieve the “righteous life” of God (James 1:19-20)
  2. When I’m angry, I should not “sin” (Ephesians 4:26)
  3. I am greater than the mighty if I am “a woman of patience” (Proverbs 16:32)
  4. Anger resides in the bosom of “fools ” (Ecclesiasties 7:9)

How would you define anger?

“I guess for me the maturation of annoyance and frustration into a desire for conflict, confrontation, or passive/aggressive retaliation.”

Dearest Rachel –

I like to think of myself as relatively easygoing, and that you were, as well. But I know I wasn’t perfect at it. I had flashes of temper – mostly when I was frustrated with Daniel as he and I battled over his homework – back in the day. Let’s just acknowledge that both of us had some learning to do in the years since. Some of the entries in this study book reference struggles you had with this in various forms, but I think you had much better control of this than I did, most of the time. But I’ve learned to roll with the punches.

And it does feel like life has thrown me a haymaker or two. I know I shouldn’t complain – there are so many people in this world who have it so much worse – but I still feel a bit lost without you. Which should be obvious, since I wouldn’t be writing all these matters if you were still here. I guess you could say that, these days, He’s testing my resistance to changes in the structure of my life. Not so much my security, unless you count the fact that not being able to find someone would render me somewhat insecure. And as for selfishness, I think I somehow feel more so, since I’m the one (along with Daniel) enjoying what you and your folks left me, and you didn’t get to use and enjoy yourself.

I probably should tell myself those same things you used to tell yourself; although, your statement about being patient won’t necessarily contain the same moral – after all, things will never be back to what we used to call ‘normal.’ Don’t know what the rationale should be, necessarily, but it’s not what you have up there.

And as for getting angry? Well, I read ahead (as that last page rather forces you to) and I know that subject will be brought up in much greater detail with your next entry. I will say that I’ve determined that nothing would be solved from being angry about this one setback in life. After all, even if you could come back, you wouldn’t be happy about it in comparison to the eternity you’re already experiencing. Who could I be angry at for all that, and would it make any improvement if I did? No, it’s best for me to let that go, and also try not to be bitter about it.

With that having been said, honey, wish me luck. I’ll need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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