I rarely have a moment to just reflect and think about where we have been and where God is leading us. But this morning I find that I have a few moments to just be still. Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10.
The words – Be Still – in the English dictionary can mean not moving, and being quiet. From a biblical perspective, these two words take on much greater meaning. God is defending His city and people. The Hebrew definition is to stop striving, to let go, surrender. The chapter begins and ends with God is our refuge.
We can take comfort in letting go and resting in God to provide help, strength and safety.
Peace! Be still! Mark 4:39 That’s pretty literal. You remember the stories you hear about the proverbial, family road trip. You know the one, with the kids in the back seat saying, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” The answer, of course, is be still or hush!
How often do we ask God for everything, but we don’t stop to listen or to be still? The act of being still and getting quiet becomes more of a challenge in our hectic world. The world asks us to be busy. God asks us to be still so that we can receive love, peace and guidance.
Along with busyness comes the fearful and anxious thoughts we hold onto. It’s been stated that we have upwards of 50,000 thoughts a day. Those thoughts aren’t always pretty. You know the ones, I can’t believe I messed up, I’m an idiot, I can’t do it, It’s too hard, I’m a failure, I’m a fraud, I’m too old, I’m too young…..
We must learn to tell our fearful and anxious thoughts to shut up, just as Jesus calmed the sea. Jesus immediately asked the question to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Have you so little faith?”
Quieting the mind, shutting up the mind requires practice. One powerful way to shut up thoughts that don’t serve us is by practicing meditation.
For whatever reason, meditation has not been a mainstay of traditional Christian, religious organizations. Prayer and Bible reading are encouraged as well as the occasional mention of contemplative prayer, but not so much meditation. Jesus, John the Baptist and others went off to meditate and to take themselves away from the hectic world.
Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Meditation helps to renew the mind, to be still, to let go and surrender, to shut up the thoughts that do not serve us.
Many people are intimidated by silence. Silence can cause you to address issues that you might be running from. It’s easy to fill each day with busyness and then block out concerns through hours of mind-numbing television viewing, Internet surfing or reading magazines. None of these activities are bad. However, if they are used to fill a void that is not being filled, over time, the toll will manifest itself in the form of lost relationships, lost opportunities and lost dreams never being fulfilled.
The next time we (I) have fearful and anxious thoughts that are raging within you (me) like a violent storm, do as Jesus did. Silence those thoughts by saying, “Peace, be still.” When you (I) need strength and help, let go and rest in God, your (my) refuge. “Be still and know that I am God.”