October 1 was our birthday. Reconciled World celebrates being three years old. Each year has been marked by a theme. The first year was a year of stability—we celebrated that we had come into existence and survived. The second year was growth—we added a bunch of new countries. I travelled to every continent but Antarctica that year. This past year was systems—we worked hard on a rebranding effort which will be revealed in the months to come, all new tools, a fantastic story book. We also added staff in Africa, redesigned the leadership team and a bunch more stuff. Since I’m an overachiever I thought I would also take on the task of writing a booklet helping people to apply the lessons God has taught us in the last 15-plus years. That booklet is already 20,000 words and is not finished!
All in all, it’s made for a crazy busy year. And a year for which God has continuously been whispering, Be still and know that I am God. Now, “Be still and pray through problems,” or “Be still and get inspired about how to write the next chapter or training”—those things I’m not too bad at. But Be still and know that I am God sounds like a whole lot of doing nothing to this Type A girl. And yet, endlessly the thought of “Be still and do nothing” has been ringing in my ears. I sort of tried, but a demanding inbox and team task management system made my efforts rather pathetic. Until one day, while trying to do at least three things at once I felt like God was yelling, “Seriously, Martha, you are choosing the wrong thing!” Apparently sarcastic yelling gets my attention—so glad God is willing to tailor His communication to each of us so that we are able to hear. So with that, I finally got that God was serious, and that I need to be a whole lot more like Mary and sit at Jesus’ feet and do nothing—just hang out with God.
And so, rather imperfectly, I’ve been doing so. And since then problems we have been wrestling with for years have been resolved, staff we needed turned up, initiatives that I couldn’t work out how to move forward have suddenly found new and super creative solutions. All while I was being still. We did build a stronger prayer team, and with that there has been a movement of prayer towards our key problems. But in terms of action—little on my part. In fact, often I turn up to find that the challenges have resolved themselves. God has done it all.
As we think about the future, I’ve been pondering what the theme for the new year might be. As I do, the words be still keep coming back. At first I thought that being still might be the way that I found the theme. But slowly I started to realize that was the theme—we were to Be still and know that I am God. I did explain to God it was a terrible idea—an organization can’t be still, we need to do stuff, lots of stuff, important stuff. We’re in the business of seeing lives transformed, we can hardly just put that on hold. It’s important. We are important. As I wrestled, God reminded me that as I have been still, He has been at work and much has been achieved. And even if that wasn’t true, even if the reverse happened and the year was marked by absolutely nothing happening, but we obeyed God, would that be so bad?
And so, with great trepidation, I am declaring this the year of Be Still and Know that I am God. (We might also want to let God know I like single-word themes.) In all honestly, it’s absolutely terrifying. Because if my years on the planet have taught me anything it’s this—when you let God take control, crazy, massive things happen. We are going to need your prayers!