Published Aug 4, 2020
By Joyel Vandenboogart
God’s faithfulness never runs dry. God rested and we should too. It’s incredibly important and it allows us to produce more than we ever could on our own. The Bible verse Be Still and Know I am God is one of my least favorite verses, yet one of my life verses. I plastered it on my daughter Leigha’s wall when she was a baby and have been reminded of it more than I want to.
When I was in high school I went on a mission trip to Africa to host a women’s conference. The day before I got on a plan to travel, I had just finished having a lead role in our schools musical. To say I was burnt out was truer than I wanted to admit. Yet, my passion and excitement to go back to a place I loved and have a dialogue about women of the Bible to a people group who was completely Muslim made my heart smile.
My travel experience alone at 18 was not ideal. Looking back, I wished I would have chosen to not burn from both ends but to choose to do ONE thing well. I got to Africa after a few short detours and spending the night by myself in Spain. There are more stories there for another time, but when I arrived to Africa, I was so excited to join the team.
The work they had been doing continues long after we come. We do short-term trips to experience a little of the culture and to hold events, but personally I believe that the true ministry that is happening with the field workers who are teaching English and the Word to others who can share.
When I arrived in the camps I was exhausted from the musical and travels. My body was depleted yet I so wanted to be part of the activities. I remember telling God that I couldn’t get sick that I needed to be able to share the Gospel. The next day I was SOO sick that I couldn’t attend the conference. I was supposed to speak and I couldn’t even go. My heart ached and as I threw up, I asked God a lot of questions of why He would send me across the country just to get sick.
All afternoon I sat alone in a dark room sick and miserable. After a full day of sickness and pain part of the team came back. In the darkness and quiet stillness I heard Jesus audibly for the first time in my life “BE STILL.” I still had the audacity to question Him and tell him I flew across the country not to “Be Still”…. One of my mentors and friends who stepped in at the conference to share twice now. She did a beautiful job at the conference and Tiffany Thompson was so excited coming back because she really wanted to share about the day. She said, “Joyel I really think you should see this dance we did for the ladies.”
The last thing I wanted to do was watch some dance, but I didn’t tell her that. She played a dance and song. The song was “Peace Be Still.” The dance touched my heart and I began bawling with the goodness of God. After praying and praying I cried out to God thanking Him for teaching me. I traveled across the country to learn a valuable lesson that day. BE STILL and Know He is God.
Sometimes I believe God pushes my pause button to be able to unplug… Sometimes we need to take time for ourselves to put yourself first. AMAZING ministry happened that day. God doesn’t need us, but choses us. God taught me a precious lesson that day that sticks with me. Well kind of sticks with me. I feel like I have to continue to learn this lesson.
When we are still and take time for us, we need to think of what refuels us. Turning off your phone, emails, and replacing it with a good book, time with family and to be present. If you are not full you are not filling others. When you are spending time with people and if you are on empty you can’t give. God needs to refill you so you can give again.
Think about where you spend your time and your talents. Do people feel loved by the way you spend your time and is the way you spend your time how you want people to see you?
Be still today and seek God to know what passions you should pursue and seek and which time suckers are not worth your time.
Humility isn’t a place where God is trying to embarrass us, it’s a place where God wants to show us how we desperately need Him in our lives