and know that I am God…”
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
How often do we ask God for help or guidance, but we don’t stop to listen and wait for His response? The act of being still means more than simply remaining in place, it also means to be free from sound or noise, and free from turbulence or commotion. Yet in the busyness of life, it is challenging for us to carve out quiet chunks of time being still. The world requires action from us, yet God asks us to simply be still and spend time focused only on Him.
Not only is it difficult to come to a complete rest from motion, it’s also nearly impossible to quiet our thoughts. Silence can be intimidating because that’s when our anxious thoughts seems to kick into turbo speed – “What if something bad happens? What if I fail? I’m not smart enough; I’m not good enough; I’m not successful enough; I can’t handle this; I’ll never get through this; I’m a failure; There’s no hope; etc..” If we fill our time with endless activity, non-stop work, mindless television, internet surfing, or social media browsing, it’s easy to dodge our concerns and block any worries. Silence can force us to face issues that we might be trying to run away from, yet God wants us to bring those cares and apprehensions to Him. In Mark 4:39, Jesus quieted a raging storm with these word, “Peace, Be still!” Ask Him to quiet the tempestuous thoughts in your mind with those same words. He will shine the light of His truth into your life and replace those fears and self-doubts with His peace. Both your mind and your strength will be renewed through this process.
On a recent trip to Central America, our group came upon the sloth pictured above. We were enthralled with this unique creature and thrilled that we were able to experience this rare sight! During the entire time I watched him hanging by his shaggy arms, he remained motionless and seemingly oblivious to the chatter and activity below from our group of observers. As I stood viewing this fascinating animal, the Lord gently reminded me that His slow-motion-creation provides a great example of what it means to be still.
So when you need strength or help from God, or when your anxious thoughts are overpowering you, learn a lesson from the sloth. Cling to Jesus and rest in His unending love and care for you. Block out the distractions and noise from the world and meditate solely on His voice. Simply, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
He does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
Job 37:5-6 (NIV)
“…Are you listening?
Have you noticed all this?
Stop in your tracks!
Take in God’s miracle-wonders!
Do you have any idea how God does it all, how He makes bright lightning from dark storms, how He piles up the cumulus clouds—all these miracle-wonders of a perfect Mind?” Job 37:14-16 (MSG)
Nothing can compare to God. By spending time observing the majestic scenes and intricate details of God’s creation, we are reminded of His awesome power in every aspect of our lives. Life always creates more questions than we have answers, and we must continually turn to Our Heavenly Father for answers, guidance and fresh insights. When He speaks, we must be ready to hear His message.
Take a moment to “stop in your tracks,” find a quiet place and listen to the marvelous voice of God.
Your path led through the sea,
Your way through the mighty waters
though Your footprints were not seen.
Psalm 77:19 (NIV)
Maybe you don’t have an army chasing you like the Israelites did after Moses led them out of Egypt, but you may find yourself ensnared by a situation in which you feel hopelessly trapped. Perhaps you feel that your back is against the wall, and it is impossible to escape from your circumstances.
When the Israelites were cornered against the Red Sea, they were terrified and felt doomed. Moses calmed their fears with these words, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13a, 14)
If you feel doomed by your circumstances and see no possible means of escape, pray and ask God to intervene on your behalf. The same powerful Hand that parted the sea for the Israelites can provide a pathway out of your trouble. Don’t be afraid; don’t panic. God can open up a way out for you. Simply stand firm in your faith and watch the deliverance God will bring you. Follow His unseen footprints…
“But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” Exodus 14:29