Be Still and Know
Read: Psalm 46:1-11
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10 KJV)
The psalmist gave us two exhortations that I find most difficult to follow. One is recorded in Psalm 27:14 where it says, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” The other exhortation is found in Psalm 46:10a, “Be still and know that I am God:”
Which of these two commands do you find harder to obey? I know you’re probably thinking, aren’t they the same? Not for me. Here’s why! I am not normally a patient person, but waiting is easier for me than being still. To be perfectly still means to “cease striving, be silent, calm down, stop fighting, and let go of your concerns.” Even in the quietness of the first awakening in the morning my mind is racing a mile a minute. All kinds of thoughts, plans, ideas, and problems surface. Somehow our society or culture has instilled within us the idea that it is honorable and right to be constantly busy.
I am much better at waiting on the Lord because I can do a lot of things while waiting. I can plan, think through problems, set up schedules and meetings, talk to clients, and even mow the lawn. But to be still – that seems next to impossible. It’s like trying to get a small child to sit perfectly still during a concert, play, or worship service.
I remember hearing a story about a little boy who wanted desperately to learn to whistle. During a worship service, right in the middle of the preaching, a loud shrill whistle was heard in the pews. The boy’s mother was shocked and took the boy out into the foyer and said, “Tommy what in the world possessed you to do such a thing,” the boy replied, “I asked the Lord to teach me how to whistle, and he just did.”
Why is it so hard to “be still?” Is it because we forget to emphasize the second half of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The Lord is not asking us to sit quietly with a blank mind. We are to “be still” and fill our minds with thoughts of his majesty and greatness, his love and kindness, his grace and mercy, his forgiveness and longsuffering, and most of all his redeeming character.
How are you at “being still?” Do you find it harder than “waiting?” Fill you mind with all the great things you know about God, and watch the world fade away.