by Pam Nettles
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Many years ago I encountered a period of multiple stressful events that led to a season of depression and anxiety. I felt stuck, helpless, and often hopeless, and wanted God to answer my prayers on my time frame…immediately, and in my way! I was exhausted from trying to fight the battles, many of which I had no control over to begin with! It was during this time that I learned the meaning of the term ‘synchronicity’. Simply put, everywhere I turned I would hear or see messages consistent with Psalm 46:10. After repeatedly hearing this message I began to meditate on this verse, as well as several others, that God laid upon my heart during my quiet times with Him.
As I read, prayed, and meditated on His Word I learned several meaningful concepts. ‘Be still’ is a verb. In today’s performance-based society we are better ‘do-ers’ than ‘be-ers’. We think about ‘being still’ in a negative connotation; to do nothing, be avoidant, or as being lazy. (Which is difficult for those like me who want to have control of our circumstances.) Actually ‘being still’ is quite the opposite. To ‘Be still’ requires taking an active stance of giving up our desire for control in order to quiet our hearts, minds, and souls, and to have faith and trust in God to accomplish His will for our lives, in His perfect timing! (Jeremiah 29: 11-14)
Often, the remainder of this verse gets overlooked. The second part of this verse reminds us that God is all-powerful and to be honored, praised, and respected. When we give up desire for control and lean upon God we acknowledge that we believe that He will do what He says He will do and that He will give us wisdom and discernment to direct our paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
During this season I intentionally tried to remove the unproductive worries and distractions that were keeping me from focusing on God’s truths. I began expectantly looking for opportunities to ‘be still’ with him. One day I was picking my niece up from preschool and I noticed a prayer garden near the entrance of her school. I took the opportunity to walk through the gates and stood in awe at what was before me! On the brick wall of the garden was a concrete tablet engraved with the verse Psalm 46:10. I stood there for a few quiet minutes and then quickly took a photo of the wall to show a friend that had been encouraging me during this time. Several days later, I printed the picture to give to her and I was so disappointed when I noticed there was a large shadow cast on the verse! Of course the perfectionist in me wanted to retake the picture but I couldn’t as the location was several hours away. So I apologetically gave the print to my friend and expressed my disappointment about the shadow spoiling the picture. Immediately she looked at me and said, ‘Don’t you see? The picture is perfect!’ God had still another message for me through that experience. Immediately as my friend commented I heard the ‘still small voice of God’ reminding me that he was hiding me in His shadow; under the protection of His wing!
When we lose focus on God’s promises and commands, or make decisions without prayerful consideration, we waste countless amounts of energy; leaving us weary and overwhelmed. We experience anxiety instead of peace. We may even put ourselves in unhealthy or dangerous situations. During times of waiting on God we are often unaware of how God is working in ways to align His perfect plan for our growth, protection, and/or blessing. Ultimately He wants to fight the battles for us!
God graciously led me through one of the most difficult seasons of my life and many other struggles since that time. It was during that time he used my experiences and growth to lead me in to Christian Clinical Counseling. He taught me to lean on Him. He also taught me what empathy means. To understand the struggles of others, to sit with them in their pain, and a deep desire to share the healing we get when we trust the ‘Ultimate Healer’! His plans and time are always perfect! When we allow ourselves to ‘Be Still’ we can rest in His shadow, under His wing of protection, and have confidence that He has a perfect plan (and perfect timing) for our lives!
(Psalm 91; Exodus 14:13-14; John 16:33; Psalm 37:7, I Kings 18-19, 2 Chronicles 20:14-17)
Related songs based on these scriptures
Hillsong – Still Hillsong -Be still