Verse 10 of Psalm 46 commands us to “Be still, and know that I am God.” At first glance that command sounds wonderful. Rest, relaxation, a ticket to ignoring my messy house, jobs undone or misbehaving children. A perpetual vacation. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s really what He had in mind.
Let’s take a look at the context. In the previous verses, the psalmist paints a picture of chaos and destruction that I (thankfully) have never personally experienced : though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. It is in the midst of this upheaval that we are told, God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble.
God asks us to be still in the midst of our world coming apart. To trust him, to have no fear even when our life is fading a way before our very eyes. I don’t know about you, but I have doubts about whether I could be still in the midst of a crisis of that kind. The Hebrew word is rapha, meaning to be weak, to let go, to release. Does He mean that I should give up? Not fight back? Not try to use my instincts and capabilities to save myself and loved ones? David surely didn’t back down when facing Goliath. Rahab did not turn away the Hebrew spies. The Bible is full of people who did not back down in the face of trial, but instead they put their trust in God, listened for His will, and acted in faith.
So, could it be that there are many ways of being still? We can still our physical body from movement, we can still our mind from racing thoughts, and we can still our spirit from turmoil and doubt. I fully admit that I struggle with all three. There is too much to do, too much to think about, too much that weighs on my spirit, and I like being in control. However, when I do take time to be still I always feel much more rested, peaceful, and secure.
So during week one of my 2011 quest to Seek 52 Weeks of Still, I am reflecting on ways that I can still my body, mind, and spirit to allow God’s voice to be heard over the chaos of my life. What are some ways that you seek the still in your life? Please share as we journey this road together.