He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Imagine sitting with a friend. No distractions, just the two of you. You share with the friend how you are struggling with a trial and then ask the friend what you should do. The friend looks at you with love on his face and says: Peace, be still.
What?!? What on earth do you mean “Peace, be still”?!?!? How could I possibly “be still” when I should be DOING something about it all?
For the past three weeks, at various times, I have sat with my prayer journal open…an exercise that is dear to me. I pour out my heart to God on the page, writing my prayers (it helps me to stay focused). Sometimes, I am impressed with something to write down–something that seems to be from the heart of God for me. The theme over the past three weeks has been “Be still and know that I AM God.”
Again. Again. Again.
Do you notice the presence of “I AM” in the middle of that verse? You may recall that God used the “I AM” to identify himself to Moses when Moses asked God His name. He responded with “Tell the Egyptians that I AM sent you to them.” There is something supremely sufficient in this designation for God and while Psalm 46:10 may not intentionally be the use of the “I AM” name, it nevertheless causes me to think of this.
It has occurred to me that no matter what the question, no matter what the ache, the emptiness that I feel, God’s name, “I Am” is the answer. God is the answer.
“Lord, what will be enough for me?”
“Lord, who will be my Comforter for my heartache? Who grieves with me when I grieve?”
“What will finally be the solution to my struggle with eating and my weight?”
No matter what the challenge, struggle or question, our God says we can know him, I AM, as the sufficiency we need, the strength in our weakness.
But I only experience him as the answer when I still my mind and heart and body. I must Be Still and Know. He tells me to Be Still and Know I AM God… and there is something that will happen as I do that. Are you like me at all? My mind tends to spin and spiral and go wonky if left unchecked. That is when I may grab for food to “center” me. Isn’t that strange? Then, my mind spirals and spins even more…
I must be still and know that he is God.
When I stop the spiraling thoughts, when I choose to STILL myself…and this means sitting out on the deck, in the bath, in a chair with a towel over my head–whatever it takes so that NOTHING has my attention but my GOD… I experience a fresh wind. I experience fresh forgiveness. Strength. Peace. Calm. I experience HIM. I am still and I know He is God. He is my portion. I magnify HIM instead of whatever it is that I am struggling with.
We aren’t wired to be still. We are wired to DO DO DO. But we want to obey what he commands and he commands us to be still and know that I am God.
When we still ourselves, we may be surprised. There is much more victory in what another translation of this verse says this way: “Cease striving.” Doesn’t that sound like a great idea? Let’s just cease striving.
When we stop our spinning, spiraling, running, and striving and just rest and know, ponder, dwell on HIS character, His awesomeness, I believe we get the clarity we need.
Stillness is a path to victory.
What can you do to foster stillness today…if not literal physical stillness, perhaps a quiet, still heart that ponders the awesomeness of God–even for a moment? Share with us here what happens for you. If you do this when you are tempted to eat, tell us the outcome!