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Be Still

You may be familiar with the often quoted statement: "Be still and know that I am God." This statement is found in the Bible near the end of Psalm 46, which was a song written to be sung in Old Testament worship. The song testifies of the security, protection and peace provided by the presence of God. As it was sung it would remind the people that although they would face severe difficulties and formidable enemies, God is greater, and as we trust in Him we experience a calmness of soul in spite of troubling circumstances. It is this very Psalm that inspired the great hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," that we still sing in church today. As we look at this simple line from the Psalm, "Be still and know that I am God," we see it is clearly a command. The first part of the command is to be still. What it tells us to do is relax, calm down, stop worrying. It is as if God Himself is coming to us in the midst of our troubles, looking us in the eyes and telling us to relax. What is our response to that? We would love to relax! We would love to be still, but it just doesn't seem possible at the moment. We are tempted to believe that only a change in circumstance will provide the opportunity to relax. This is why the second part of the command is most important. "Know that I am God." This is a command to stop and consider something. Someone is in charge. Our God is in control. When we know Him as He is, we can be still no matter what is happening around us. Here is the dilemma, you can only be still when you truly know and believe in Him. It is one thing to accept a statement as true and possible, but another thing to actually experience the truth of it. Can you be still? Do you really know God? For those of us who know Him, sometimes all we need is His voice or His words to soothe our anxieties and calm our anxious spirits. We are reminded of the perilous moment when the disciples of Jesus were in the midst of a deadly storm on the sea, fearing for their lives while Jesus was somehow sleeping in the back of the boat. When they finally awakened Him, He looked at the crashing waves and the terrifying clouds and spoke these very same words, "Peace, be still." Immediately, everything calmed down. When God spoke these words to the storm, it obeyed. May we have the faith to know what the wind and waves know, and may His words bring calmness and peace to our anxious, troubled spirits as they brought calmness and peace to the troubled sea.


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