I was praying the other day and I asked God—“What do you want me to do?” I felt this sense of quiet and into my mind came the words “I just want you to be still.” Those words surprised me. Here was not a call to action, but to inaction—a call to stop. I don’t think of myself as a busy person, especially currently since I don’t have a job and we’re in the middle of a quarantine. I don’t have a busy or even a full schedule. So what is it that I needed to cease doing in order to be still?
I am good at distracting myself. I tend to overthink, so oftentimes my solution is to ignore what I am overthinking about. What I should do is address it by taking it to the Lord, praying through it, do what I can do (if there is anything He wants me to do), and trust Him for the outcome. However, I distract myself with a movie, social media, calling a friend, playing a game, looking for comfort in forgetfulness. If I don’t think about it, I won’t be stressed or worried or faced with my inability to fix the problem. I create business, or I should say busyness, for myself.
I thought that the fact that I wasn’t focusing on or overthinking problems meant that I trusted God. But lack of thought does not equal presence of trust. I was choosing willful ignorance instead of informed trust in God. I was weakening my understanding of and belief in God’s power. I was stopping up my ears, trying to drown out the chaos and noise, but in doing so drowned out His voice as well. That is what I needed to stop doing.
God does not want us to blindly trip through life, keeping our eyes shut to avoid seeing the pain and suffering and hardship. When we do so we ignore the problem, yes, but we also ignore our need for a Savior. We miss the beauty and we miss witnessing our Father doing extraordinary things. Rather, He wants us to walk forward with confidence, for our God is the one who parted the Red Sea. Who felled Goliath by David’s hand. Who kept even the clothes of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from being singed in the fiery furnace. Who calmed the winds and waves with only His words. Who cast out demons, and healed lepers, and raised the dead. Who will one day come again and make all things new.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
He is coming.
Oh Lord, haste the day.
While we wait for His return, we are reminded that He is not merely a future help but a very present help. Psalm 46: 1-3 says,
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
The beginning of verse 10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
The psalmist acknowledges several circumstances that are frightening and much bigger than we can handle. Notice, however, that he first acknowledges the power and presence of God. It is because of God’s presence and power that we will not fear, though the very earth were to give way, not because we are distracting ourselves.
So, I encourage you to stop and be still. Find rest in the presence of God and comfort in the truth that He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.