God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. -Psalm 46 NIV
What does it mean to be still?
This is such a well-known verse, and I think oftentimes taken out of context. Through my research, I prayed to understand God’s true intent of this phrase. I used to think of it as calm down, relax, etc. However, it is much more black and white than I gave it credit for. In Hebrew, “be still” means “cease.” In Greek, “be still” means “hush”. So, stop and be quiet– definitely not as gentle as I had once thought.
With my new understanding, I now see “be still” as calm my busy soul, oh Lord. Stop my racing mind. Still the buzz. Inch me closer to peace. Being still means not conforming to the pattern of this world where hurrying is the new normal. Be still means being present. Being all there. Being still means being a trusting listener. Being still means being intentional, renewing my mind.
You’ll notice in the context of Psalm 46:10, the verses preceding Psalm 46:10 are acknowledging God’s presence in the midst of chaos. God commands us to stop and be quiet, because he is fighting our battles. He is calming the storm. He is sorting out the chaos when too often, we just create more of it. (How true is that?!)
In our culture we are immersed in, chaos is readily present. There is so much noise, commotion, and rushing. As a mother, calming our busy souls, stopping our racing minds, stilling the buzz, moving closer to peace, being present, and being a trusting ever-present listener feels like we are swimming upstream. Does anyone resonate with that?
Let’s figure out what all of this really means for us. In order to do that, we must understand what the following means for us individually.
- How is the enemy disguising himself in distractions throughout your life?
- What schedule are you choosing to keep, and is this bringing you more stillness?
- Are you being intentional and aware of how you are spending your time?
- Are you surrendering control of your schedule to God?
- Are you taking care of you?
- Are your actions and values aligning? (Because this is where we can discover our best, true, authentic selves.)
So how do we move forward? We become more aware and intentional of how we are spending our times. We take our own small steps in order to obey God’s command of stopping and being quiet. We figure out what will work for us according to the season we are in, and we choose to trust and listen, surrendering the fight, giving control of our schedules to God.
Finally, we take care of ourselves. Energy comes from rest and self-care. Stopping and being quiet is rejuvenating. Maybe being still is God’s way of saying, I’ve got this. Trust me. Take care of you, so that you may be renewed, giving quality energy to things that matter instead of giving a bunch of exhausted nothings with your time