Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Be Still

"He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.'"
Psalm 46:10‭-‬11

"Be still, and know that I am God." For weeks, those words have been like a song stuck in my head. Life seems to move a million miles a minute, one circumstance after another. The world is unpredictable, as are the lives we lead. I am sure there are many others, like myself, who become overcome with stress and anxiety when unexpected circumstances beyond our own personal control enter our lives. Lately, there seems to always be an uncontrollable situation that makes my mind and heart anxious, where I try to find any worldly way to control and fix whatever is happening. My spirit, as a result, has been unsettled. It hasn't been unsettled by the uncontrollable circumstances themselves, but by the fear and anxiety I have been feeling. I have come to understand just how greatly my anxieties affect my spiritual life.

I felt two pressing questions from God on my heart in the middle of everything. The questions were, "If nothing goes the way you are planning and hoping, will you still trust in me?" and "Would you be able to simply be still and know that I am God, even if the worst happens?" Wanting to be a "good Christian", I wanted to believe the answer to both was "Of course!"...but I knew that my fears contradicted that response. I realized that I trusted in my own thoughts of what I believed should be rather than God's plans.

In the best moments and the worst moments, he is still God. If nothing goes to plan and every worst-case scenario comes to pass, he is still God. When I set aside my fears and anxieties and began to live out that truth, peace came over me like an ocean wave.

We can't depend on our desired plans to defend us from the unknowns that we fear in life. There is, of course, great power in the prayers we speak to God. Yet one of the most powerful prayers we can offer up to God is unspoken: when we give him all of our cares, relinquish what control we want to believe we have, and trust that he's got it. It is in this truth that our fears pass away and genuine peace can be found. Once you begin to be still in the knowledge of who God is, light will begin to shine through even the darkest crevices of your life. Our defense from life's hardships and unknowns cannot be found in our own mere human plans for what we think should be. It is simply being still, and knowing that he is God...that is our light and our fortress.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Exodus 14:14