still

It seems like a regular occurrence in life: I suddenly take a look around only to discover that life is flying by and I am racing at ridiculous speeds. Sometimes I’m struck by the fact that another month is half finished before I hardly realized it had started. Other times I am made aware of how fast life is passing when I realize how quickly my children are growing up. Other times I am struck by the fact that it seems like it was just 2003, but that was seven years ago! The verse of Scripture that comes to my mind at times like this is usually that familiar—perhaps all too familiar—passage from the Psalmist: “Be still and know that I am God.”

Be still.

 

As life gets more and more hectic that direction from God gets increasingly more difficult. At first glance one might assume that this would be one of the easier things God says to do. With all the rules and regulations people seem to get caught up in one would think that the command, “Do nothing” would be a welcomed task that we would excel at. But with the demands on our lives increasing and life itself moving faster and faster being still becomes more challenging with each new day.

 

The whole verse actually goes like this:

 

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.    Psalm 46:10

 

So the idea, as I read it, is that God is saying we should be still and know that He is God so that we will exalt Him. This does make sense. Life can get us moving so fast and so frantic that God can be forgotten in the day to day rush of needs, requests, and problems that we face. It isn’t that we stop believing in Him or begin openly rebelling. In truth, it more just that we forget Him. Forget that He is there. Forget that He is speaking to our hearts. Forget that He is interested. Forget to tell Him what we are going through.

 

We just forget. So we don’t exalt Him.

 

Being still and knowing that God is God sounds fairly straight forward…until you try to do it. Then the cares rush in, our minds go on long wandering sprees, and we become fidgety. At least that’s been my experience. It’s hard work, this being still. But it’s invaluable as well. It re-centers our lives and focus on Christ. It grants perspective and direction. (Sometimes I am embarrassed to realize that I have been frustrated with God’s lack of answering when I have not been still long enough to listen!)

 

Most importantly, it builds relationship with the Creator. It deepens our interaction with him. And that is what he has always been after—us. Nothing more, but nothing less. He wants us. Unfortunately we are often running so quickly from this to that to the other thing that we fail to hear him calling, see him acting or feel him loving. It is time to make the time to be still. To listen and be loved.

 

When was the last time you were still before God?

 

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