“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“Be still.” Being still is not one of my gifts. Multi-tasking, though, now that is a gift for sure. If I don’t have more than one activity going on at once, I get antsy. So, best to have three or four things going, at least. This leads to a kind of frenetic pace of life and prevents presence and patience. I have a sense you know what I mean.
“[K]now that I am God.” I know that He is God, almighty, all powerful. I talked to Him this morning. I feel His presence right now. I meet Him in others, in serving, in praying, in reading, in . . . doing.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Combining these two has the tendency to stump me a little. What does this mean exactly?
Sometimes I think God just wants to show me stuff about who He is and how I can know Him better and I don’t slow down enough to let Him. Seems like everything I do is so that I can do something else or so that something else will happen. There is always a goal or a destination to the task at hand. Rarely do I do anything that is to appreciate the thing itself. All this so-that living leaves little room for taking in what God provides to re-fill me. When my hands are busy, my feet are moving, my brain is solving, and I become unknowingly convinced that I control outcomes, it is hard to really know that He is God, and neither I, nor anything or anyone else, is.
God is working very deeply in my life right now, in different areas, in different ways. I feel like an old house being torn down in order for a new one to be put in its place – all that is in me is being torn down and out and off, right down through the foundation. Sometimes it resembles a gentle reconstruction, a piece carefully taken out and replaced here and there, and other times I feel like I’m surrounded by bulldozers, cranes, and wrecking balls. This process requires extreme discipline, suffering, prayer, grace, trust, faith, and deep breaths. And it’s not like I exercise each of these successfully all of the time, or even most of the time. I’m beginning to understand that this a life-long deal, which can start to feel slightly overwhelming. I am tending to want to hold on to all the stuff in the old house – the judgments, resentments, anger, jealousies, little hurts, big hurts, sinful habits – just because I know them so well, you know? We have been friends for a long time. Let me put it this way: I would not want God’s job rebuilding me. I’d throw me into the impossible pile.
I've started to sense that if I would just slow down and live in God’s presence instead of bracing against the rebuilding I might start to enjoy the process and recognize it as the miracle that it is. If I could understand this not as something I am doing or have to accomplish, but as something to which I am submitting so that someone much bigger, stronger, and more loving than me can do. God would replace the old stuff with new stuff. And the new stuff is Him, His love, His grace, His mercy, His glory. The judgments, resentments, anger, jealousies, hurts, and sinful habits can be put into industrial-size garbage bags and set out on the curb for disposal. Even just a couple steps into the process, I have caught glimpses of extreme grace, freedom, peace and contentment.
So, as a way to submit to rebuilding, I’ve started walking around outside. This may not seem like a huge step, but it is; for me, it’s huge. I never really understood just walking around. What is the purpose, the goal, the point, the destination? I am walking so that . . . what? But already, it is resulting in a centeredness, connectedness, and certainty in God’s promises I have never experienced. The other day, God showed me something amazing. I went for a walk and though my feet were moving, I was walking just to walk, and I started to notice all the things that grow and live and move and hang and shine and smell without me. I mean everything. I began to feel in a concrete way my smallness in comparison to God’s bigness. I was walking, but there was a sudden stillness in my mind and heart that opened me and allowed God to show me how much I need Him to live.
“Be still” is “rapha” in Hebrew, which means “let go” or “be weak.” Let go and know that I am God. Be weak and know that I am God. It is God saying go ahead and be weak; I am strong. In your weakness, I am strength. Let go of all the old stuff you’re clinging to because it will not bring you life. But I will, I am God.