simply settle

Six weeks after moving to Kansas with my new husband there were pots, pans, and tupperware all over the counters as I organized the kitchen cabinets. I had bills covering the office floor as I transferred everything over to our joint bank account. There was a massive stack of cardboard boxes from our most recent Amazon order that needed to be taken to the dumpster. It felt like the piles and projects were endless.

One morning I texted a friend to check in on them. When they asked me how I was doing I responded, “Good! Just working to get settled.”

Right after I hit send, I didn’t feel peace with what I had said – working to get settled.

But, you know what I meant, right? You probably have something in your life you want settled, too. Maybe it’s a situation you want resolved, a relationship you want restored, or a question you want answered. Or maybe, like me, you have a closet that desperately needs to be organized. We can all look at our life and identify at least one area that feels unsettled or uneasy. And chances are, we are working hard to try and make that unsettled situation feel settled.

That morning though, I realized that my understanding of being “settled” wasn’t what the Lord wanted for me. You see, I was striving to reach some future place where I could finally feel settled. Without knowing it, I had made settling the end goal or destination believing that once the house was organized, once my to-do list was clear, and as soon as I had nothing else pressing to get done, I would feel settled. It would feel like I could exhale and finally enjoy life. I assumed that if I worked hard enough to get it all done, I would find the sense of peace I was looking for.

But, what the Lord revealed to me was that I was never going to get there. No matter how hard I worked, I would never find peace because of a completed to-do list.

So instead of striving to settle, the Lord was challenging me to settle right where I was.

Being settled didn’t mean I had it all done and had all the answers. Instead, it meant finding peace and stillness amidst the chaos. For me, it meant finding peace and stillness amongst the piles of tupperware, bills, cardboard boxes, unanswered questions, and long to-do lists.

Maybe for you being settled means finding peace and stillness when your family dynamic is taxing and frustrating. Finding peace and stillness when your finances aren’t where you want them to be or your job isn’t all you had hoped for. Finding peace and stillness when there’s always another meal to make, load of laundry to do, or errand to run.

Living settled is not an end destination, instead, it’s a way of life. It’s a heart posture…an active choice.

So, if that’s what we want – a life where we can find peace and stillness no matter what’s on our plate or what’s going on around us, how can we do that?

Five minutes after sending the text to my friend telling her I was “working to get settled”, I sat down to do my quiet time and the Lord brought this Scripture to me.

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and to seek Him in His temple.”  Psalm 27:4

The word “dwell” comes from the Hebrew word in Scripture – yashab –  which means “to sit, remain, dwell, or settle”.

Knowing the word dwell also means settle, this verse gives us clear instruction on how we can settle and where we can find peace and stillness even when the world doesn’t stop spinning around us.

“One thing I ask of the Lord…” David (who wrote this Psalm) knew the only place we can go to find that everlasting peace is God. Finding a posture of being settled is not something we can accomplish without His help. We can’t work our way into peace. Instead, we have to ask Him to fill us with the peace only He can provide.

“…this is what I seek…” The Hebrew word for seek is the verb baqash which means “to seek, look, and pursue”. Being settled doesn’t magically happen. We have to pursue a posture of settledness and practice how to calm our minds and hearts when life continues to swirl around us. The world does not encourage and cultivate a posture of being settled; we have to choose it for ourselves.

“…that I may dwell in the house of the Lord…” Where do we settle? In His house. In His presence. At His feet. We don’t settle at the feet of comfortable finances, the fun trips we go on, how many friends we have, or in the presence of the people we love. We settle in His house, with Him. When we look for peace by resting in anything outside of Him, we will always come away disappointed. He has to be the person, the place, we run to.

“…all the days of my life…” Because being settled is found resting at the feet of God, it doesn’t have to be a temporary feeling. It can be a lifestyle, not a seasonal posture that is dependent on what else is going on in our lives. It is a peace that is offered to us everyday if we go to the true source.

“…to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and to seek Him in His temple.” So, in this posture of being settled, what do we do? Well, we delight in the Lord. We worship and adore Him. We seek Him and spend time with Him. We meditate on His Word and who He is. We admonish Him. We reflect on His faithfulness.

No matter what you are facing today and regardless of what lies ahead of you tomorrow, peace and stillness are freely offered to you. You don’t have to work for them. You don’t have to solve the problem, finish all the tasks, or know all the answers to settle.

Amidst the chaos and noise of life, amidst the flurry of the fun and crazy and hard and sad moments, you can settle.

Settle at His feet while He equips you with all you need to tackle what He puts in front of you.

Father, help me to stop striving towards settled, but instead to simply settle right where You have me.