When we reflect on these words, Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10), we recognize that what God requires of us is contrary to what we require of ourselves. These are sobering words, especially in an age when we are rushed just to make it through the chores of each day. Our very identity is in what we do. Almost immediately after meeting a new person we ask the question “So, what do you do?”
God’s desire for us is for us to come to Him in stillness, to learn to sit at His feet, basking in His glory, worshipping Him through prayer and reading of the Word. To sit at His feet is just that, sitting. How do we get there, when everything around us beckons us to busyness?
We all long for peace. We long to be filled with a peace that passes understanding, the kind of peace that only Jesus can give. The recipe for this peace is found right here in these words uttered in the Psalms. Learning to be filled with the stillness to which He calls us is truly the only path to the peace for which we so desperately long.
The greatest challenge for each of us is just trying to find the time to be still. We try to fit it into our schedule, and then we get discouraged when we recognize that our schedule looks too full. All too quickly, we give up before we have even started.
The words ‘be still’ imply the present state. God is calling us now, without worrying about tomorrow. He promises to take care of our tomorrows. He will be there tomorrow too, beckoning us to come to be still, and know that I am God. I have recently begun a new journey toward this stillness before God. I followed the words of a very wise woman and began to take one day at a time. My husband’s grandmother began each day with these very words: “One day at a time, for we have no promise of tomorrow.” These words have challenged me to do just that with my time with God. I must take each day and enjoy Him in stillness that day, and that day only. I am not to worry about how I will fit Him into tomorrow’s schedule. Instead, I can just sit still, at His feet, in His Word, and thank Him for that moment. Then, with each passing day, I can begin anew this daily journey.
One of the greatest causes of stress in our lives today is busyness. We are busy with commitments, and we cannot tell which ones we can eliminate from our lives. I know that in ministry this is especially challenging, as we begin to justify our busyness with the fact that it is service to God. And yet, what does God require of us? Surely it is not busyness. How easily we put Him aside for work in the ministry in our churches! This must grieve His heart. I know now that I have done this far too often.
When I do not sit still before God, I am the one who misses out on the treasures that await me. To focus on Him instead of ourselves will free us of the stresses that so quickly entangle us. To learn to be still before God is one of life’s greatest treasures for those who follow Christ!