Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
“Sit still! Stop wriggling!” How often have you said those words to a squirming child in the back seat of the car? How often have you whispered something similar to yourself as you mentally fidget while reading the Bible or praying? Or – more likely – when disease or disaster looms?
Scholars agree that the words of Psalm 46 probably were not written while God’s beloved children roamed green pastures or rested beside still waters. It is more likely that they were escaping yet another enemy who wanted to wipe them out. Even nature seemed to conspire against them with quaking mountains and roaring waters.
After describing these horrors, the writer extols the glory and power of God and finally slips in, “Be still!”, or more literally, “Cease, relax, quit striving, chill out!” How is this possible and how do I learn to live like this as a general rule?
The Apostle Paul, writing to Christians under similar conditions, gives encouraging advice:
Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice! Don’t be anxious! Pray with thanksgiving about everything! Then the peace of God which is beyond human understanding will calm your fears and give you mental quiet.”
It’s this practice of joy-filled living, intentional prayer, and increased understanding of the nature of God that leads to and feeds the practice of stillness. This doesn’t happen casually or overnight. It takes a daily surrender over the irritating minutiae of life, agreement with a loving God that He has purpose and plan for each of us.