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Be Still

Today was a full day. Had the anticipated meeting with a group of pastors and church people on the subject of marital abuse. Shared the program with a criminal court judge, an abuse advocate, and a professional counselor. The advocate and counselor had heartbreaking personal stories of their own that they’ve had to deal with. But the result is that they are helping others out of their own experience and strengthened faith. Those present had a lot to ask and add to the conversation. Wish I had more time to talk to them all personally.

Now I’m in the middle of a 5 hour drive home. Stopped at a roadside coffee shop that I figured would have free WiFi and let me catch up on your comments today. You all are something else. Thanks so much for comparing notes once again!!

Also wanted to try and capture for you a thought that has been on my mind the last few days. And now that I’m sitting still for a minute I’m once again sensing the calming force of the words:

“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). They show up in a chapter that begins, “God is our refuge and strength, a very help in trouble” (46:1).

Just the other day, I discovered a richness of meaning in this phrase that I hadn’t seen before. The Hebrew word translated “be still” has a broader range of meaning than to “stop making noise”. The scope of the original word includes the renderings of, “to let drop, abandon, relax, refrain, forsake, to let go, to refrain, let alone, to be quiet.” A literal translation, therefore, could be “relax-you”.

With this breadth of meaning, I’ve been thinking about how important it is to do more than just stop and “be quiet” before the Lord. So often I also need “to let drop” an anxious thought; to “abandon” the thought of changing the past; “to relax” in the powerful presence of God; “to refrain” from obsessive, self-protective thoughts; “to forsake, let go and let alone” the “what ifs” that are weighing me down; and “to be quiet” in the presence of the God who is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Yes, there is a time to work hard, and to persevere, and to use all of the strength our God has given us. But I’ve found far too often that not “letting go of my anxious thoughts and self-defeating stress” is more apt to eat me up– than to be what God uses to calm me with his presence. Now again, just being still…

Well, soup’s gone. Coffee’s down.Thoughts are ready to post, and I need to hit the road. Still thinking though about all of the different ways I need to learn better–tomorrow– to “Be still, and know…

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14 Responses to “Be Still”

  1. bluesunryse says:

    I know that being still is hard because of what I am going through in my life. Sometimes it is hard to be still because you always want to be in control of your circumstances. But God wants you to know that he is driving the car and you are just a passenger. He has ordered your steps but you must follow. It is really hard not to be a leader when it comes to your life in Gods hands. I guess that’s my main problem know when to let go and be still and really know that he indeed is God.

  2. cquizon says:

    Your insight today really came at the right moment and encouraged me through this situation. Its true that we really need to stop, be still and experience GOD. Our busyness in life really puts such huge hurdles to these quiet moments and its wonderful to be reminded that we need to strive and just DO IT! God bless and looking forward to more things from you!

  3. Jenny says:

    It’s 6pm where I am now and it’s raining very heavily outside. I’m hoping that the rain will somehow subside soon. While I was doing my devotion this morning, I felt rather empty inside and sense of lost. There was something amiss and I was restless. I was asking God “Why? What’s going on?” Then, Psalm 46:10 came to mind, “Be Still, and know that I am God.” I realized I’ve been so preoccupied with working, doing, thinking of issues/problems that I’ve somehow not allowed God to take full supremacy in my life. Though I know that He is Sovereign and the Almighty One, but I think I’m not allowing His full being to come in place in my life. I’m holding back and at times, unwilling to let go. It’s tough, it’s tough. I agree with Mart’s “letting go of my anxious thoughts and self-defeating stress” is more apt to eat me up– than to be what God uses to calm me with his presence. I’m learning to surrender to Him more and more; not to be anxious but “Be still” knowing that He is My God and in control of all things.

    Thank you for your thoughts and insights!

  4. B Murphy says:

    It is in this stillness that the voice of the Lord speaks to us. The Lord is so gentle and so kind that his voice gets lost in the loud roar of the world. Then when he leads you to this still place the static of our emotions and imagination sounds like a radio station that you just can’t get tuned in. but through purposeful meditaion and constant scripture reading I have been graced with a clear signal for however long the Lord grants it to me. The meaning of scriptures that I have read for years are revealed to me. The events of my life that I saw as sorrow have been turned to joy. Blessed be the Lord.

  5. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    Mart the subject you spoke about yesterday is just one of the reasons we must learn how to Be Still and not only know God is, but the person we are abusing is a person Created in God’s image, we absolutely are abusing God when we abuse another person ( Period ).
    i thank God often for being known as being patient, many times, when different friends meet, they will ask me how do you spell that word, and God gives me grace to spell P a t i e n c e very slow.
    Patience can only come through hard times, and being still, and letting God say your last comment, JUST RELAX.
    Being critical has been a terrible way of life for me, and one of the ways The Holy Spirit has helped me, when i have stopped, and asked for advice, is to ask my self, do i need to be critical, and God has shown me that if criticism is needed He will do it, i need to tend to my own life.
    I believe along with fellowshiping with other Christians, being STILL before God is the best tool for growth there is.

  6. mutisadele says:

    I am so blessed…I have been stuggling with my husband. He is having such a hard time letting of the world and himself and it is putting a strain on our marriage…I have been so lonely and rejected and God has been revealing His Will to me over the past few weeks. In the midst of the joy He has given me, it’s been hard to not want to shake him or scream WAKE UP, GOD is blessing us and you need to seek him…but this message is for me BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD..yes, God has already taken care of the situation and I can’t change him either way, thank you so much for these encouraging words, I am so uplifted right now, even though the situation is the same, I know that God has a plan for me and come what may, I want HIM to be in control, not me cuz everything I do of myself fails, but through CHRIST, I can do ALL things!

  7. zionscornerstone says:

    This message I hope comes to you as an encouragment and an exhortation. To married women out there that endure difficulties of every kind. There are probably billions of problems and the grass always looks greener. Marriage is a covenant that cannot and shall not be broken. “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not seperate.”-Matthew 19:6. Women who try to seperate…this ‘man not seperate’ applies to woman too. Since woman is taken from man. “The fear of the Lord brings wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understand.”-Proverbs 9:10. Knowledge of Jesus(having him) as savior is understanding. “Whoever commits adultery lacks understanding;he who does so destroys his own soul”-Proverbs 6:32. Lacking understanding is being without Jesus. Now I bring this out to show what God has shown me the seriousness of divorce and adultery and how it is shown in Gods Word not American culture. For you married women and those who have recomitted to a man after mistakes and grace having been given or to single women not yet married be encouraged to stand firm by Gods law. Love, where grace and the law meet. Divorce is not an option our Lord has said. I know many of you live to be a Proverbs 31 woman and that is attractive to all. I’ve never had to face the hardships a married woman has to struggle through so please forgive me if I sound insensitive. God bless you all and may you endure to the end and so shine like the stars in the heavens.

  8. Elaine Kerr says:

    Thank you very much. This topic is so very relevant to me now!I can so relate to Mutisdele’s comment. In the last 2 months my husband and I have been going through such a rough patch that I have thought about divorce many times. However, I have been seeking the Lord’s face in this and throughout all this time, I keep hearing HIM say ” Be still and Wait”. The comfort and peace I have gotten from passages like Psalm 46: 10, Isaish 40: 31 “They that wait upon the Lord …He shall renew their strength..” and Isaiah 30:15 “Thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength..” is nothing less than awesome. I am learning more and more to trust God in this situation. But not only that, in quietness I have learnt the sound of His voice. It is natural for us to want to rush in and take control of our situations, but God who sees in our future knows always what is best for us; and His plans and thoughts for us are always good; “Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end” says Jeremiah 29:11. From personal experience I know that my choices and actions have not always been the best …so now when God says I am to wait though it is still a challenge, I am learning to wait because I know whatever happens – with God in charge it will be well!

  9. bondservant2 says:

    I find I can be alone and still find it difficult to “Be still”. In the quietness of the day it is still hard for me so, much on my mind, even though I know GOD is in control and has my future in HIS hands I still find it difficult to “Be still and know that He is GOD”, to let go and give HIM my fears and doubts to take HIS peace and joy and enjoy the day.

  10. Mart De Haan says:

    zionscornerstone, I appreciate your deep commitment to our God’s ideal for the permanence of marriage. As I think we’ve seen from other comments, in the middle of normal and even intense marital conflict it is so important to “be still” and remember our God. Many of us have worked through difficult problems in marriage and are so thankful that we didn’t throw in the towel. But my reason for responding to you directly, here, is that some of our friends are living in relationships where there is a pattern and recurring cycle of misused power and control that turns marriage into something that God never intended. For that reason I’d ask you to read our Discovery Series Booklet, “God’s Protection of Women“. If you have comments after reading it, please comment at Marital Abuse and the Bible.

  11. daisymarygoldr says:

    Whether it is marriage or any other area of our lives, we need to learn to ‘Be still’ for God to do His work. Remember, He is the ‘Potter’ and we are merely the ‘clay’. God will not rest till He has completed to perfection the work He set out to do in Christ Jesus.

  12. bought1 says:

    I would encourage all who wish to “be still and know that I am G-d to practice daily “secret,silent prayer”. Give to Him the first part of your day and even let Him wake you each morning! It is fun and exciting when G-d wakes you before your alarm clock goes off. Your father who has watched you while you have been sleeping is anxious to meet with you. Find a quiet and comfortable spot and present yourself to the LORD. Heneni- the prayer of Samuel or the prayer of presentation is a good way to start. LORD,Here am I. Remember His atonement or covering which allows you and I inner access. We learn to walk by walking and to pray by praying. One of the best ways to say I love you is by spending time with the one you love. The old masters called it Otium Sanctum or holy leisure. This is not a time even for Bible study or preparing a lesson. It is a time for the creature to be with the Creator and for a man to meet with his Maker. For lovers and friends to meet together. Let be one of your holy habits to “waste time with G-d”. There will be times of awesome refreshing where you will be asking our Father, “do I have to leave now?”. Take 5 minutes now, and visit with the Holy One. The veil has been split from top to bottom- The invitation has been extended, “whosoever will may come”.

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