“Be still, and know that I am God.” -Psalms 46:10A
I’ll be honest, up until recently, I looked at the meaning of ‘be still’ differently. I looked at this verse as a reminder that He is God, meaning that He is sovereign, which is completely true. I truly believe that sometimes we need that reminder that He is God, and we aren’t, that He knows the future, and we don’t. For me, it’s a reminder that, as much as we try to plan everything out, we are not in control (and that’s a good thing). There’s not many times that I’m ever really “still,” albeit when I’m sleeping. I eat while trying to type a paper, I read for homework while on the elliptical, I make lists upon lists to make sure I do everything; let’s face it, I’m a micromanager. When exactly am I supposed to ‘be still’? Can I pencil that in for thirty minutes in between classes, or what?
You see, I’m currently in a place where things are about to change. I’m researching and visiting graduate programs, working on my portfolio, searching for possible job opportunities, and trying to figure out which state to live in. It’s stressful, to say the least. But in the midst of this, I’m reminded that He is God. He knows the future. He is in control. And I have peace.
“And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
To understand this, it takes knowing the context in which Jesus said these words for it to make sense. Basically, Jesus was on a boat, exhausted and trying to sleep, while there was a storm going on. The wind was thrashing the boat every which way, and the disciples were fearful, so they awoke Jesus and pestered Him with questions. In my mind, they’re shaking him awake violently, just like my brother does when Momma sends him to wake me up. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Psalms 4:38). With that, Jesus wakes up and does His thing by shouting (note the exclamation points), “Peace! Be still!” and the wind died down. After this, Jesus asks His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Psalms 4:40). Ouch, I bet that cut deep.
At the very core of this story, Jesus is there in the midst of the storm with the disciples, and, from my perspective, it’s like they’re puzzled because they’re having to deal with a storm, basically saying, “Hello, Jesus? Don’t you see what we’re going through here?” And of course, Jesus steps in and saves the day, but His commentary afterwards is what gets me. “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Psalms 4:40).
Right now, more than ever, I feel like this applies to me. I’m in the midst of a storm, and like the disciples, it’s so easy to pester Jesus and shout, “Do you not see what I’m going through? This is rough!” But this is where I want the similarities to end. I don’t want to throw my hands up and doubt whether or not He will take action as the disciples did, but instead have faith in Him, and life without fear, even in the storm.
Let me tell you, it’s not the most natural thing to do. We’re naturally curious beings, as God created us to be, so for us to question things is natural. But sometimes it’s more than that. Every time you are on a boat in a storm, it takes making a conscious decision to have faith that Jesus won’t let your boat sink. Step by step, day by day.
This short, simple phrase holds so much meaning in the Bible, and each time it’s mentioned, it’s in a different context, which means a different lesson for me. Beyond just a reminder of how sovereign He is, it’s Jesus telling us to stop questioning Him. These are only two of the times that ‘be still’ is in the Bible, but I figured I’d better cut it short before I bore you all to death with this ‘stillness.’
Look for Part II of this post soon!