Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Be Still and Know

I was able to visit a few blogs this morning, one of which was Exemplify, where Kristen asked, where are you (spiritually) today? I thought, how would I even begin, I feel like I am in a corner.

See, today has started off challenging for me. I tend to like security and with the small business I own and run, that is not always how it goes – my comfort level is challenged often. Today, this week, is one of those times. I need customers. I need people to come through the door and buy. I need not shed these tears that are so close to the surface. I do need God’s strength! I do need the kind of faith that removes the fear and frustration and desperation that I feel today. As I have prayed as I have moved through my daily routine and I have desperately wanted the peace faith in God brings, to let go of the worry, completely. To smile and know in every fiber that it will be ok.

When I arrived at the shop I sought out my post it note with a verse on it (Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. 1 Chronicles 28:20). My post it note had fallen off and I did not find it. I then hit the internet and headed to Crosswalk in need of being spiritually fed, in need of God’s word.
I love it when He gives me what I was so desperately needing, looking for. This is the first devotion I came to. This “snippet” of a verse is one I so often pull from deep inside. I love the praise song too.

The Context of Stillness
by Katherine Britton, News & Culture Editor
"Be still, and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10

How many times have you heard this verse? A hundred? A thousand? This snippet of a psalm is a pet verse of mine. It constantly pops into my head when I start getting too busy or stressed out. Ironically, I hadn’t taken time to read the whole psalm in months until the other night, and I had no recollection of the verses surrounding my favorite one-liner.

Here’s a sampling of the other verses in Psalm 46:
“Though the earth gives way…” (vs. 2)
“Though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea…” (vs. 2)
“The nations rage, the kingdoms totter…” (vs. 6)
“Be still and know that I am God… I will be exalted in the earth!” (vs. 10)
“The God of Jacob is our fortress.” (vs. 11)

I had been picturing an idyllic, Psalm-23-ish passage as the context for my pet verse, but the context is completely different. The psalm is actually the meditation a man holding back fear with faith. In a setting of uncertainty, war, and all-around “trouble” (vs. 1), the psalmist focuses on the peace that comes from being the presence of God – even though the earth around him threatens to fall apart. The verse holds even more power in this context than in my imagined setting, doesn’t it?

I love the Psalms because of their deep meditations on humanity confronted with God’s holiness and faithfulness. I can see real men writing the lines, reminding themselves of the bigger context for their troubles. I see men who – like me – wondered what would happen next in this life. But every one of them comes to the realization that they serve a God who supersedes their worries and replaces them with worship. These men heard the command to “be still and know” and found that God blew their imaginations.

I often look at the looming election and the financial woes and start getting jittery, wondering about outcomes and impacts. In these times, I slip into this mentality that thinks “being still” and listening to God can only happen in green pastures. But
the real context of Psalm 46:10 tells me otherwise. God’s amazing peace works most powerfully when the world’s craziness reaches a crescendo. Like they say,
context is everything.

The part “a man holding back fear with faith” hit me like a ton of bricks. I know I am not in a war. I know things could be much worse. But for me, the very small number in the bank account, after today’s bills are paid, is difficult for me. I know God will provide, I know His plans are greater than anything I can imagine, but the very real, very human feelings fight for their spot of recognition too, and those I am so earnestly fighting to purge. I am hoping I am at a crescendo, and I can’t wait for God’s amazing peace.


Jan said...

I can always use a little more spirituality in my life and my reads. Thanks for caring and sharing. Be still and know is one of my favorite scriptures.

KJ Schiffman said...

Beautifully written. Today Nehemiah 6:9 has been an anthem of mine.

"And I prayed, "Now strengthen my hands."

I pray this today for you as well.

Be still and know that He is able.

Merrie said...

Yes, I understand! I'm praying and calling in those customers - with money in their pockets to make large purchases... that you walk, live and do business in divine FAVOR!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Beautiful, and inspirational to me today, too.

Tara said...

hummm....what a beautiful post! I needed to hear something peaceful in my chaotic day...thank you!

Thanks for visiting my blog too!!