Psalms 46:1 tells us that “God is our refuge and strength a very present in trouble.” Reading through the rest of this Psalm gives us a very clear picture of his power and what he can overpower. As we get to the end of the passage 46:10, we are told to “Be Still and know that I am God.”
I understand how difficult it is when the storm is raging in various forms to be still. We want to fix things, make things go away, take care of the evil that is threatening us and to make the wrongs right. We don’t feel that this can be done being still.
God says differently. If we trust that he is truly our refuge and strength, then we need to take shelter in the refuge he provides and to allow him to carry us since his strength doesn’t ever get depleted. The only way to do that is- to be still. We will never experience his power trying to use ours.
Exodus 14:14 says that “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” I have learned that I must be still if I want God to fight for me. My ways of doing things and my busyness only gets in his way. If I am in his way then I am in my own way. In stillness I am on the move. In stillness God is on the move.
There are so many times in our own lives that we cry out to God and we feel that because there is silence and stillness that we have not been heard or that we are not loved or that Jesus doesn’t care. This couldn’t be farther than the truth.
I remember reading through the story of Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus in John 11. This story tells us that Jesus ‘heard’ their request- it was a plea for help sent in urgency and desperation.
Vs 6 “Yet when he heard…he stayed.” Jesus made the choice to stay right where he was…he lingered…he didn’t move…ON PURPOSE!!!! He heard and did nothing- ON PURPOSE. Sometimes that is a very hard truth for us to swallow. We have so many questions. How could God? Where is God? We feel so many emotions. This scripture tells us that Jesus loved them. It tells us that he heard them. Later it tells us that when he finally did go, Jesus wept. Yet for a time he did nothing. Or that is what it looks like and feels like at face value.
There are so many times in our own lives that we cry out to God and we feel that because there is silence and stillness that we have not been heard or that we are not loved or that Jesus doesn’t care. This couldn’t be farther than the truth. Jesus’ timing was on purpose to have a greater effect. His purpose was greater than the immediate need that was presented to him. Their finite understanding was not a match for God’s infinite knowing. Jesus loved, heard, cared, wept but didn’t move because it wasn’t the right time. When he resurrected there was more power in that moment that if he had saved what was dying. He was being still in obedience to God’s timing. In his stillness power was arising.
Being still allows us to see with spiritual eyes. Stillness creates a space for us for realignment, repositioning, redirection, renewal, restoration, rejuvenation. It creates a space for greatness. God’s greatness.
We know the end of the Lazaraus story and it was just as Jesus had said before he chose to remain where he was. In the same moment he heard the request from his friends, he heard God’s voice and plan. It wasn’t to end in death and it didn’t- not only for Lazarus but for us.
God hears my cries. He hears yours. He still loves and cares. Perhaps you have entered 2021 still waiting for a prayer to be answered. You have found it hard to be still or frustrated that God is still. Or as 2021 unfolds there may be storms you have to face that you don’t feel that stillness is the answer. I encourage you to remember that God is always at work. In his stillness there is supernatural power. In our stillness there is supernatural sight. We need both. God says that before we call he is answering. He does not leave our requests unattended to. We can know God and his power in stillness. When he does move we will see the worth in stillness as we stand still in awe of who he is and what he done.