Lately, I have been seeing the words Be Still, all over social media. This is a rough season for many people, some have been laid off without pay, others have had their hours dramatically reduced and their entire routine disrupted. Fear is a very real emotion right now, and is plaguing multiple households across our country and the world. It could be very easy for us to crumble under the pressure, to sink into a depressive state as our anxiety levels soar. Trust me, I know how powerful these emotions can be, l struggle with anxiety but I have been blessed to have some amazing friends in my life. I have a group of friends, there are six of us total that are in a group text. I have lost count of how many times I have come into a difficult situation or felt discouraged and was able to send a quick text expressing how I felt only to be bombarded with sweet words of comfort, a scripture verse, heart emojis and prayers. In times like this we need a group where we can go, friends that will point us back to the truth of who our God is and sit with us and tell us everything is going to be okay. We need each of these aspects in our life. We are social creatures and need the encouragement and fellowship of the believers.
Social distancing is what we are being cautioned to do right now but that does not mean we have to be socially disconnected. I encourage you to find ways to stay connected. We have the technology to be as connected as we want to be. It’s so easy to FaceTime, text or message someone to just say hello. And let's not forget about the beauty of a hand written note, snail mail is my favorite, it is still relevant today as it was back in the Victorian era!
To be still
Roman’s 8:28 us that all things work together for good, now that does not mean that it is always good but that all things work together for good. So many people have talked about the good they have seen come out of these last few weeks. People are learning to reconnect with others, they are realizing what is really important and how precious each moment is. They are learning to trust God all over again and realizing that He is in control of it all. And we are discovering the joy of just sitting still.
As you may already know, I have an attraction to this word or phrase, but did you know that the term "Still" in the context of standing or being still, is only found about 14 times in the Bible? Nearly all are in the Old Testament and in direct connection to God or His deliverance except once? I wanted to unpack just three of these verses.
The first time this word is mentioned is in Exodus 14:13 “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more forever”.
This is the context, the children of Israel have left Egypt, and begun their journey to the promised land. They have witnessed God’s power as He rained down the ten plagues on Egypt. They watched as the leading country in the world was brought to its knees. But just one short chapter later, they are sandwiched in a very difficult situation with the red sea before them and Pharaoh's army is behind them. Here they forget who their God is and get angry at Moses, accusing him of bringing them out here to die because there were no graves in Egypt. I have to admit, I found myself laughing a little at their response, I mean seriously, what a horrible yet hilarious accusation, you can almost hear the sarcasm! Then I thought about how often I have behaved that way, to get angry at my circumstances and blame other or worse, blame God. It is so easy to forget God’s goodness and power in the middle of a storm. When things get difficult and we feel as if we have nowhere to go, we tend to lash out.
But I love what Moses says to his forgetful and angry mob.
The second passage I want to highlight is Ruth 3:18. It is pretty much a given that if I write about the topic of being still, this verse is going to be in the list.
This verse says, Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.
This verse is actually unique, it is in a class all by itself because the context is Naomi speaking to her daughter in law Ruth about Boaz. Ruth has just shared the results of her late night meeting with Boaz where she asked him to marry her but found out that there was someone else who was in line before him. The women had not planned for this to happen at all, now Ruth could end up with a total stranger who didn’t care about her at all. We have all been in a similar situation at one point or another. We had plans, good plans but some unforeseen obstacle has gotten in the way. Right now there have been many heartbroken brides who had to completely rethink how their wedding, a wedding many spent a year preparing for and others have had to cancel trips or even family reunions. This is a difficult and disappointing time for many. Instead of getting upset or anxious maybe we should simply stop, pray and be still allowing God to work.
There is another little angle I want to bring up with this verse and that is, sometimes we have to let someone else go speak for us. Most of us are people of action, we want to stand up and fight for what is right, to speak for ourselves but what if that is not the plan? What if God wants us to simply stand still? Have you ever been wronged and wanted to march right up to the person doing the accusing and fix the problem? I have witnessed people who knew they were right but instead of charging ahead to fix the problem themselves they prayed about it. So often I saw God move by either having someone else come forward and rectify the problem or God intervening on their behalf. This is the second lesson I would like for you to take away. Sometimes plans, even good ones, don’t go the way we intended them to and that is okay because it is an opportunity for us to strengthen our faith in the Lord and build our trust in His goodness. And the second half of this second lesson is the fact that there will arise situations where instead of trying to right a wrong done to us, we need to simply sit still, bring it before the Lord and let Him settle the matter.
All right the last verse I want to talk about is the well known scripture from Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
This verse is currently being quoted and pictured in a lot of social media posts, and it is being emphasized by many influencer to remind their followers of this truth. In times where fear runs rampant it is essential for the believer to run to God, He alone is the antidote to the world’s fear. While our world seems to be in utter chaos our God is a sure foundation that we can rest upon but we have to do something first, we must be still. To be still has the idea of getting away from all the noise, all the distractions, to cease what we are doing and quiet the very thoughts in our mind so that we can hear the still small voice of our God and we can hear Him best in the quiet place. It is in these moments that we discover who God is. He is our provider, protector, conqueror, deliverer, our place of refuge, our friend and our Father. Many of us have some extra time on our hands due to multiple activities being cancelled and places being temporarily closed. Perhaps before getting to that long list of items on your to do list, you can spend a few extra moments with God, digging deep into His Word away from your phone, away from the TV and let yourself be still in His presence. This is the final lesson and I believe the most important because all of the others are built from here. This is the foundational truth because we cannot look to the Lord for our help if we first don’t know He is our help and we cannot trust in someone we don’t know very well. Getting alone with God, and letting Him speak to you is the most important part of your day and the most important ingredient to growing your faith. May we all take the necessary time to stand still, to sit still and be still so that we may know that He is God.
I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.
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