In 1989, we began building our dream home on our six-acre property. At the lock-up stage of construction, unusually heavy rains caused a massive landslide below our house that left it standing a few feet from the edge of a sheer clay drop of about 300 feet to the creek below.
The advice of soil engineers was, "Move the house before it goes down. It is only a matter of time. Nothing can be done to save it."
It was a traumatic time of confusion, but following the only option given, we made arrangements to move the house.
Strangely, we could not feel at peace with our decision and cancelled the move a few days before the scheduled moving date.
God had given us a word from Haggai 1:8, "Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord." (KJV)
We clung to that in the face of all the well-meaning, contrary advice of family and friends.
There were times when my faith in God's promise would waver, and doubt would creep in. I would wonder if perhaps everyone was right — was I crazy to hold on? But when these doubts would come, I did something that seems unreasonable. I would walk to the edge of the slide and look down on what had turned men's faces white when they first saw it.
Instead of being filled with alarm, I would feel the presence of the Lord wash over me, and I would "stand there awhile" listening to His voice. Always, I would walk away with the peace that passes understanding restored to my soul.
The house still stands. Sixteen years after the slide, the bank had completely regrown, and when we sold it five years ago, the buyer had no concern for the safety of the house.
I was reminded of this time in my life the other day when I came to 1 Samuel 9:27b, where Samuel says to Saul, "Stand here awhile, that I may announce to you the word of God." (NKJV)
"Stand here awhile." How contrary to our instinctive urge to fight or flight! Something annoys us, and we react with a quick word that we later regret. A situation arises that is unexpected or traumatic, and we let panic rule. We are so quick to judge, to make choices or decisions on the spur of the moment, based on our emotions.
How different our lives would be if we developed the habit of standing still awhile — even in the frightening place — until we heard the voice of God.
In our hectic world of change, endless appointments, busy schedules, and information overload, have we forgotten how to take time to simply stand awhile and listen?
Psalm 46:10 – Be still and know that I am God. (NKJV)
Prayer: Dear Father, we come to stand here awhile before Your throne and ask that You teach us to become still, that we may hear Your voice above all the noise — not only the noise of the world around us, but also that within our own minds and hearts. Amen.