One of my favorite passage of scripture is found in the forty-sixth Psalm, verse ten. It says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
The term “Be still!” is sometimes spoken with frustrated urgency by an adult to a child considered to be overly active or too noisy. But recently I learned that when the verse was first written, the psalmist was using a word that meant “to let go, or to release.”
There are times in our lives—personal and professional—when the responsibilities placed on us and the situations we encounter become greater than we feel we can handle. Accountability to our mission to “extend God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing” can, at times, feel difficult and heavy.
But God neither wants us nor expects us to carry these life obligations as burdens—far from it. God wants us to know that He understands our greatest needs and will help us. He wants us to trust in His power and His care for us. “Be still,” He says. “Have faith in what can happen if you surrender and release yourself to me.”
The essence of having faith in God is giving ourselves over to God’s care. We may be naturally resistant to such “giving up” because it goes against the conventional advice to stand firm and be strong. However, looking at other ways of understanding “still” may help reframe our perception.
Sometimes to be still means to be tranquil; so the verse could read, “Let go of stress and let God’s love occupy your thoughts.”
Sometimes to be still means silence and calm; so the verse could read, “Tune out the noise and listen for the still small voice of God’s spirit and grace.”
Sometimes the word still means a moment in time, as in a still photograph; so the verse could be interpreted, “Remember the snapshots from your own life when faith in God was most important and most memorable.”
Sometimes being still enables us to look past the present to the future so we can say, “Nevertheless, and in spite of it all‚ I still have hope in the sustaining love of God.”
From those perspectives, “Be still and know that I am God” is a source of hope and solace when we face challenges and difficulties, and are able to say, “I still believe and have faith in God’s grace and plan for me.”
I want to experience God’s love. I want to be surrounded by God’s care. I want to know God’s wisdom and plan for my life. I want God’s help in meeting the challenges I face each day. And I desire the same for each of you.