“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NRS)
Be still. Familiar words, yes, but oh so difficult to follow. In our multi-tasking world, being still is challenging enough for grown-ups, let alone children. Stillness may be all but impossible for children on various spectrums. Be still, you say? Ha!
Seeing my child off for his first day of school, and the many that follow, being still is the last thing on my mind. There is much to do while he is away. Plus I have all that worrying to do about him making friends, remembering homework, following rules. If I am going to be still it has to be in a very limited window of time.
Be still and know that I am God.
Besides, do I really need to be still in order to know that God is God? I mean, God is still God no matter how hectic things are for me, right? Isn’t it enough to pause and recognize the glory and wonder that is God and then go back to the hectic and the worry?
Maybe I ought to take just a second to read the beginning of the Psalm. Where does the story begin that later ends with being still and knowing that God is God?
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NRS)
Trouble, you say? We know a thing or two about that. Refuge and strength? Sign me up! But how am I to be still? It feels like I need to be DOING something, anything.
Hebrew is an interesting language. One word can mean so many things. That familiar command to be still may better translate as “let go,” “slacken” or “abandon.”
Well that changes things just a bit. What if I trusted God in the midst of turmoil and accepted refuge and strength? What if I let go of the worry? What if allowed that taut muscle in my neck slacken? What if I abandoned the sense that I need to be in control and gave it over to God?
Perhaps I will take a moment be still and think about the different possibilities that exist in a school year like that.
God of our refuge and strength. Remind us that we can let go. Thank you for catching us when we do. Amen
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