“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46 is one of my favorite Psalms. It starts off with the wonderful verse, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” God is our refuge. The definition of refuge is “a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble,” What a wonderful way to think about God – the place we can go to be safe in a very dangerous world. God is our strength for the times we feel weak or feel like we can’t go on. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
But we can’t feel that strength if we are always running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Sometimes it seems that the more threatened we feel, the more stupid decisions we make. We are like the characters in horror movies who decide to wander around the spooky house alone. We need to take a break from making bad choices and doing stuff that only makes it worse. Taking refuge in God means that we have to stop, calm down, take a deep breath, be still.
I’ve been reading the story of Moses leading the Israelites through the wilderness. Every time they get in trouble or get hungry or thirsty, they start whining about wanting to go back to Egypt. The first danger they encounter – the Red Sea in front and the Egyptians at their backs – they say to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?” (Exodus 14:11). Moses answers with words that echo Psalm 46: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Be quiet, stop complaining, stop trying to solve everything yourself. Take shelter in the one who is our strength. Be still.
Good words for the Israelites and good words for us today.