Be still and know that I am God…” – Psalm 46:10
It’s the be still part that has always gotten me.
I’d defined it as: to be quiet. Subdued. Calm in his presence. Prayerful. Thoughtful. Kingdom-minded, yet soft and gentle at the same time. We are to be serene in His presence — I can almost feel the soft breeze in the trees overhead. That’s what it’s supposed to be, right? It was a shock then, to be yanked out of that thinking when our pastor said, “In context, the Hebrew translation of be still here means: lay your weapons down.”
What?! It literally means that in the heat of battle, we have a throw-down, and yes, rely totally upon God. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s all or nothing, baby! Either we grip the sword or we don’t; there’s no in-between. That’s scary enough, huh? But to have to throw our weapons down, we have to be in a battle in the first place. This is no Sunday church picnic – it’s an all-out war! And the fact that we, in the middle of our own private battles must throw down our weapons when the bombs start falling, right when the enemy starts charging in our direction… it’s a terrifying challenge.
I thought over it this week as I had medical tests that could have defined my future. There’s nothing quite as sobering as a CT scan I think? I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so scared (maybe never). And in the midst of it, when I should have had the strongest faith imaginable, I crumbled. Yep. I was gripped by total fear. (If we had a hashtag here, it would be something like: #epicChristianfaithflub.)
Here’s a moment of transparency for you, friends: My weapons? They’ve been raised for a while.
I’ve been gripping them tight. Not willing to let go. Afraid to risk. My sword of pride is fused in one hand, the shield of fear in the other. And I’m fully prepared to keep up the control on my end; I need to be in continuous “battle-ready” mode, just in case God can’t really be trusted with everything. Just in case I can’t trust Him with the outcome of a CT scan, on the job, in my home, or in the recesses of my own heart.
Know how many times the Bible references “have no fear”?
365. One of our pastors reminded me of that this week; the Bible references fear and the trust we can have in God over it, once for every single day of the year.
Of course we don’t want to feel pain. We don’t want stress, or loss, or hurt to find its way in. And it’s easy to trust Him with the small things, right? We can trust Him with this, or with that little thing over there…but with the BIG stuff? With the major fears that affect our finances, our family, even life and death? Like many of you, I have armor to protect the vulnerable parts of my heart. I’m tired — but keep battling away day in and day out. And if I’m brutally honest with myself, this week made me realize that deep down, I’ve been afraid to trust in some areas of my life. My champion has been waiting for a moment like this. He’s been patient, waiting for me to get it together, waiting for those weapons to finally drop down upon the dirt. He’s ready for battle on our behalf!
Can we let Him in? Can we really trust Him?
So, where is stillness?
It’s in a COMMAND:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 NIV
It’s in a PERFECT LOVE:
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – I John 4:18
It’s in a PROMISE:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
My test results came out with a positive result (much to our relief), but the lesson I learned about stillness is of immeasurable worth. Thank goodness we have a Savior with very deep understanding and a compassionate heart! Praise the Lord we don’t have to do this all on our own! And above all – praise Him for the truth that when we have fears-come-to-life (and we will), He’s here. Patiently waiting. Without reproach for our moments of doubt or rebuke for our failures. In fact, He’ll pick up the weapons in our stead.
Praising Him today for stillness.