Be still and know that He is God Print
Everyday Faith

Everyday Faith column by Julianne Nornberg

God gave me an unexpected forced retreat last month, a literal message to "slow down."

I was on my way to an indoor water park, traveling a few cars behind my children's school bus in order to help chaperone at the park.

It was the day of a spring snow storm, and I hit an icy patch and started sliding off the road.

"Dear God, please help me," I whispered as my car spun all the way around and landed in the ditch in the middle of nowhere.

Stuck in mud and snow, my wheels wouldn't turn, and I clearly needed help to get out. So I called for a tow truck, but due to the wintry weather, it would be a couple hours before it would get there.

And so, I waited. And prayed. And although I was heartbroken that I was missing my children's field trip, I was so grateful that it was just me and my little car stuck, unhurt, in the ditch instead of the busload of our precious children.

Things can always be worse.

For months now, I'd been going full steam, with work and meetings and carpooling and a plethora of unending kids' rehearsals, games, activities, and events. It seems we are in a season of a hectic pace, with very little time for prayer or reflection.

But as I sat in my car, waiting for help, with nothing but a pair of goggles and a towel in my bag and the icy snow coming down on the beautiful countryside around me, the stillness was palpable, as was my vulnerability, and the message was clear: "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

It was a message I'd been in dire need of experiencing.

This was my little Lent, after being spiritually dry for so long due to filling my life with everything except a deeper relationship with God.

And so I was grateful. For now I could move toward Easter with a heart of gratitude and a desire to carve out time to just be with Him again. And to be quiet. And to trust that He will take care of me.

And -- as always, whether I am aware of it or not -- He did take care of me.

During my time in the ditch, two police officers came and quite a few drivers stopped to check if I was okay. Plus, my husband and friends checked on me via smartphone, and I knew I was not completely alone.

But I was alone enough to take God's message to heart. And that was what mattered.

So during this joyful Easter season, be grateful. Amid the craziness of everyday tasks, take time to slow down and truly rejoice in what Jesus has done for us.

Be still. And know -- truly accept -- that God, not you, is always in control.

Julianne Nornberg, mother of four young children, is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee.