“Be still, and know that I am God;” Psalm 46.10
The reason these words appeal so strongly to many of us is that they point to quietness and peace. Life can often be busy and chaotic, and for many people these qualities seem so attractive in comparison to the striving of their daily routine.
However, rather surprisingly, the context of this verse is a psalm about war and struggle. It isn’t a psalm that calls us out of the storm and into the quiet, but instead calls us to stillness within the storm, whilst it’s still raging. All too often we hear a call to quietness and inwardly think, “I wish!” Even if we appear calm to others, there can still be a storm within. Yet presumably the words of this psalm mean that it is possible.
When we are told to “Be still”, the sentiment behind the command is to disengage from the storm howling around, not by walking away from it but by finding a different focus within it. This different focus is the presence of God. Even to pause and say the name of ‘Jesus’ can be enough to remind us of a different reality – God with us.
Wherever you are right now, whatever is demanding your attention, speak the name of Jesus quietly and with expectation. In this way you are stepping into the quiet and finding his stillness.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission