Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10a
In our busy lives, we often fail to recognize not only the importance of being still and recognizing God’s presence, but also the power of just being in God’s presence.
We recognize that quite time is important and that we don’t spend enough time doing it, but we often fail to recognize its power. When God instructs us to be still in Psalms 46, it is not all about us and our need to rest. He instructs us to be still because He is at work, and his work is not weak work of humans. God’s work is powerful. God can hold us when mountains are falling into the sea. God can end wars. God can open doors. God can clear minds. God can . . .
If I were to name the main thing God is teaching me this year is to let go of worry AND striving and let God take care of me. I am not a worrier by nature, so it is a lot harder for me to stop striving. I am a hard worker with a strong work ethic. I’m usually focused on finding God’s will so I can do it with all of my ability.
Widowhood, and the foggy grief that comes with it, has been life changing in more ways than the obvious ways. God is not going to be most glorified by the way I preserve in hard times. God is most glorified when we are still and allow him to work.
We so often quote the first line of Psalms 46:10 like I did above and not quote the whole verse.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10
This is what happens when we are still. God is exalted. The verse before this verse is just as important.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire. Psalms 46:9
When I was planning my trip to Amsterdam, I fully expected God to give me clarity and insight about many things. What I expected to do as I walked the streets of this beautiful city, was that I would have time to think about and process many things and God’s direction would be revealed. I expected I’d receive powerful words from God as I was reading and sitting in church and talking to friends that I would process and receive great revelation.
Instead, while I was there, I probably spent less time actively thinking and processing than I do at any normal time. I was just there, being in His presence. I was acutely aware that God was with me and had given me this time to enjoy his gift of life. I had no moments of epiphany or clear divinely spoken words, I was just there and in a way I have not done for two years since my husband died, I was enjoying being alive and with Zoya, enjoying the gift of creation, love and life.
It was powerful and the clarity I needed was just there when I returned. There was a healing that happened while just being and letting God love me.
The Back Story
This whole trip came about in a similar manner. I was sitting at a coffee shop with an hour to go until I had to go pick up my daughter. I opened my computer to get a focused hour of work done, and suddenly, I was hit with the impression that I should close my computer and just spend an hour enjoying God’s love, God wants to take care of me. It was within two minutes of that thought that I got an alert on my phone that the tickets I was about to buy for $1000 were now $450. When you have a child and are buying two tickets that is huge. If you know anything about tickets to Amsterdam from Atlanta, $450 is about as close to free as it gets. I had been hoping to go visit friends in Amsterdam for a long time. The ladies from my small group in Amsterdam are amazing women and I knew time with them would be good for the soul. God said, “I will take care of you. Let me give you a taste of what I can do.”
God’s love is shown in so many ways. It is shown in the gift of a precious little girl. It is shown in the peace given after the death of my husband. It is shown in miracle tickets to a place of healing. It is shown both in strength to withstand a bad situation and wisdom to leave a bad situation. It is shown in a beautiful flower or a cozy rainy day. It is shown in the sacrifice of His only son.
Stop and Be
So take time to stop and let God love on you. Don’t just do it because you are exhausted and need the stillness. Do it because He wants to show you his powerful love.