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When I was in times of deep anguish and despair, my mind would start working. I would cease waiting upon the Lord and would begin devising plans to solve the problem. Using human logic, I would race through the many possible ways to get out of the muck and the mire. It was during those times of striving and scrambling, that God would press upon me this deep truth from Psalm 46:10:
Be still and know that I am God
Wait, what?!? Be still! But I have to find a solution!
“No,” God says, “I will bring about a solution. You wait for Me.”
We might be tempted to think that we only have to be still during the small problems, with the large problems requiring immediate action. And while we do need to act quicker on some things, it cannot happen correctly without seeking the Lord first. Read the circumstance described in the verses preceding the command to be still:
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
When I read this imagery I think of a disaster movie. One of those where a massive tidal wave or volcanic eruption or earthquake is looming and threatening to kill hundreds of thousands of people as well as destroy miles upon miles of property. The earth may shake and roll, water might envelope some of the land, and the landscape will indefinitely change. Panic ensues and people run for their lives; chaos rules the road, not to mention the gas stations and grocery stores.
Stillness and peace in the presence of God does not come to mind in this illustration. Yet, the psalmist says that God is our refuge and strength and that we will not fear even if the mountains should slip into the heart of the sea. Wow! That is faith!!
So what does that mean for us? What pitfalls or disasters could happen where God is not our ever present source of strength? There are none! When we rely on our emotions and feelings there are several different circumstances that seem as if they would be unbearable, but in actuality God is our tower of strength through it all — if only we will enter into it.
We should say with Habakkuk:
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
Tomorrow we will see an example of a king of Israel who did not rest in the Lord.