March 23 – Be Still

Psalm 46 (NLT)

1 God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.

2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.

3 Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

4 A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High.

5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it.

6 The nations are in chaos,
and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts!

7 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

8 Come, see the glorious works of the LORD:
See how he brings destruction upon the world.

9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”

11 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

Sometimes things just seem overwhelming. The Covid – 19 crisis has certainly got us all on edge. Some other overwhelming things are really serious such as the unexpected death of a family member or friend or we receive news from some medical tests that are scaring us horribly. Most of the time, the overwhelming things are not so serious, but they never seem to stop coming – one small crisis after another.

During upsetting times, Psalm 46 is a good one to read. We need to know that our God is in control and that we can get help from Him. I love the first verse in this psalm: “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” That is a fact, and that is true. But, how do we experience that strength? Personally, I think verse 10 contains the answer. “Be still, and know that I am God!” There are times when we need to literally stop right where we are standing, and say out loud, “God, I know You are there, and You are willing to help me, so I’m taking a deep breath and waiting on You”.

I have that verse on a wall hanging in my bedroom. It used to hang in the entranceway of the home where I raised my kids. Both those locations are ones that I needed to have that verse located. I needed to know as I came in my front door with arms loaded with stuff and kids whirling about my feet that I was coming home to a place where God lived as well. Now as I wake and start each day, I need to be aware that God is with me in whatever comes my way that day. I need to know that God is there and that He is all the wonderful things recounted in this psalm.

The words “be still” are translated a variety of ways depending on the version you read. The King James Version says, “be still” and that seems to be the most popular one. The NASB says “cease striving”. It can also be translated ‘let go’ or ‘relax’. One thing that stands out to me in all of those translations is the idea that I need to stop and get in touch with reality. There is action on my part – my willingness to let go. I don’t know about you, but I suspect that you may identify with me. I do strive. I do try my best to do all the things on my schedule. I do overbook my time. I do care that I’m doing a good job. See all that striving? See all that busyness? See all that tension? I need to stop that and consult God much more. When things happen that mess up my plans (my strivings), I need to stop and know who is really in control.

So that takes me back to verse 1. “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble”. And to verse 10. “Be still, and know that I am God!”

And that’s something to think about today.

There is an amazing song on YouTube Music called Still by Hillsong United. It is based on this psalm and takes about 6 minutes to play. There are many other verses from the Bible posted on the beautiful background scenery. You won’t regret taking some time to listen to this song.

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