During the year of 2021, I had the opportunity to be still. A Lot. In the beginning of the year I broke my hand. Many things were put on hold as I was unable to use my dominant hand for 4 months. After my hand healed I endured a few months of an infected tooth and lots of lying around as I felt horrible. And finally, when I felt like I might be crawling out of my cocoon, I fell and broke my ankle. This led to 6 weeks of sitting around. A Lot.
Being still was hard. I felt very unproductive and lazy. But, over the course of the year I learned some invaluable lessons about what God thought of me. If I had not been forced through injury and sickness to be still, I would have missed learning what God had for me during that time.
Today, as we read Psalms 46, we read this very well known verse,
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalms 46:10 (American Standard Version)
To be still, does not just mean to sit in a chair and stair out the window. Although, I did lots of that when I could not put any weight on my foot for 2 weeks. The Hebrew word for “still” used in the verse above is raphah, meaning to sink down, relax, and let go, cease striving, or withdraw. In the Christian Standard Version of this same verse, it begins with, “Stop fighting, and know that I am God.” There is a sense that this chapter of Psalms was written during a time of conflict of war. So, God is calling them to stop fighting. He wants them to stop the frantic activity, to let go and put down their weapons of war.
God commands them to do this because He wants them to stop, to take the time to realize that He is in control. When we are frantically running around and trying to find answers or solutions to our problems we loose sight of God. We forget about the power that God has.
We can see how powerful God is when we look at earlier verses in Psalms 46.
God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its water roars and foams and the mountains quake with its turmoil.
Psalms 46:2-3 (CSB)
Psalms 46:10 is a deep reminder to us that “even though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its water roars and foams and the mountains quake,” God is in control. We are called to be still and remember who He is. To be still does not mean to sit and do nothing, but to stop fearing, to stop fighting. We are to be still and acknowledge the greatness and power of God.