I have two sweet little nephews, ages 7 and 8. I love them both with all my heart. They are actually less than a year apart in age, and I love being their aunt. They are smart, creative, talented and handsome. They also have sharp, witty little senses of humor. They're a lot of fun to be around and I love "my" little guys.
Now. As much as I love them both, I do not like to be with both of them in a car at the same time. They will joke, laugh, nag, pick, fight, cry, drive each other crazy, just about drive ME crazy... and will not BE STILL. If they would just be still, at least sometimes... and be quiet, at least sometimes... but they're just kids, and that's how they roll.
Have you ever been around overly-excited little kids? Those of you who are parents or who have children in your families know exactly what I mean. They can run like wild little firecrackers - which is FINE at the right place and time – but sometimes you just want to tell them to BE STILL.
God has to deal with us in that way sometimes. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am God." God wants us to be still and trust Him. But what exactly is "being still?" Why do we need to be still? And HOW, in this world we live in today, do we learn to be still? I have studied some on those questions and will share with you what I have learned.
What exactly does it mean to be still? Psalm 4:4 says, "Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent" or, as the King James puts it, "commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still." The Hebrew word used in this verse means literally, "to be silent, be still, wait, be dumb, grow dumb." In other words, HUSH. We can practice being still by simply being quiet.
Psalm 46:10, which I quoted earlier, tells us to "Be still and know that I am God." The Hebrew word used here, "damam," means "to sink, relax, let drop." Here we learn that being still can involve letting go of all our striving, stressing and worrying. Let go of the anxiety in your situation. We are told to just relax and "let it drop." Let go. Relax. Be still.
In the book of Mark, Jesus stopped a wild storm by telling it to be still. The Greek word used here means, again, "to close the mouth with a muzzle; to stop the mouth, make speechless, reduce to silence; to be kept in check." So again we see that being still involves being quiet.
How do we "be still?" By being silent. By letting go. My keeping ourselves and our mouths in check, and waiting.
WHY should we be still? One reason is that we stay safe. Psalm 4:8 says, "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe."
When we relax and let go of our tenacious grip on life, Psalm 46 tells us God is honored. What's more, we are protected. When we "let go" and be still, we experience God's presence and protection. Psalm 46:11 says, "The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress."
Thirdly, when we are still, we can reach a place of deep peace. When Jesus commanded the storm to "be still," Mark says, "the wind ceased and there was a great calm." When we are still, we can experience God's "great calm."
So why should we be still? We are kept safe, we are protected and we are calm when we are still. I have listed just a few reasons; the Bible gives many more and I invite you to study more on that for yourself.
Finally, the "how." We live in a crazy, busy, bustling world these days. How do we break free from that cycle to achieve this stillness? I can personally say, sometimes it seems impossible... but with God's help, stillness is possible and within reach. The Bible offers us answers for every question we might have, so let's look into how to be still.
II Chronicles 20 alludes to "being still" as a choice or a decision. A prophet tells God's people, "Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory." In other words, plant your feet. Stand STILL. And watch God fight for you!
When we decide to be still, we stop everything we are doing. In that resonating zen-like space, God’s capacity to work is unlimited. Jesus gives a great example of this in the story of blind Bartimaeus, Mark chapter 10. It says Jesus stood STILL...
"...and said, 'Tell him to come here.' So they called the blind man. 'Cheer up,' they said. 'Come on, he’s calling you!' Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. 'What do you want me to do for you?' Jesus asked. 'My rabbi,' the blind man said, 'I want to see!' And Jesus said to him, 'Go, for your faith has healed you.' Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road."
I submit to you that God works in stillness.
Be still. Rest. Wait. Isaiah 40:31 says it best; "those who WAIT on the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint."
I say to you today, "Peace, be still." Be quiet. Let go. Plant your feet, stand strong, and wait. Then watch God work on your behalf.