“Learning to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance. It’s what I learn from the great actors that I work with. Stillness. That’s all and that’s the hardest thing.” – Morgan Freeman
In prayer, with all kinds of storms swirling around me, I asked the LORD what I should do. His reply was…”Nothing.” This answer was both freeing and unsettling. I wanted specific action steps. In this case, the action was inaction. Be STILL – not to move or make a sound; to be undisturbed by wind, sound or current; to be in deep silence and calm; to quieten; to be fixed; to stand. Psalm 46 reminds us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble.” (vs.1) This assurance is meant to assuage our fears no matter what tumult external forces are creating in our lives. “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God…God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved, God shall help her at the breaking of day.” (vs. 4) The waters are definitely troubled, but we are riding the waves with Jesus in a boat with no oars. This means we have given up control and are allowing Him to steer us to safety. “The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (vs. 7) So we are instructed to, “Be STILL, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (vs. 10)
In 1 Kings 19 the LORD instructed Elijah to stand at Mt. Horeb. He was about to pass by. We would think that God’s entrance would be a grand gesture that all would notice, but a great wind, an earthquake and a fire occurred, yet the LORD was not in any of those…”after the fire a still small voice.” (vs. 12) Other versions say God was present in a low, gentle, soft whisper or the gentle breeze that came afterward. If God were to present Himself to us this way, would our internals be quiet enough to hear Him? or would the clamor of our distress and anxiety drown Him out?
The disciples were in a training exercise in Mark 4, but they didn’t know it. Jesus was already in the boat. He beckoned them to join Him saying, “Let us go over to the other side.” (vs. 35) They were being set up to learn something new about Him, and about themselves. A violent storm arose, but Jesus was on the boat fast asleep. The disciples woke Him up in a panic, “Master, don’t you care that
we are perishing?” In my prayer, it was more like, “You see this, don’t You?!” His response was a calm, “I do…” We know that He sees, knows, and has the power to do something about our situation, but does He care? Jesus did not accept the invitation to their pity party. “…Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea. “Silence!” He commanded, “Be still!” And the wind died down, and it was perfectly calm.” “Why are you so afraid?” He asked. “Do you still have no faith?” (vs. 39-40) Man, that stings when I read it to myself! It’s my teeny tiny faith that’s the problem…not the storm that’s swirling. It’s also that I really don’t know the One I’m dealing with…Jesus is on this boat with me! Until He intervened, His disciples didn’t realize or appreciate the strength and mighty power of their Teacher. It brought them into wonder. “Overwhelmed with fear, they asked, “What manner of man is this? even the winds and the sea obey Him!” (vs. 41) So…silence yourself. Be still. Examine your faith. Allow it to rise. You might learn something new about yourself and your God!
“I speak of peace, while covert enmity under the smile of safety wounds the world.” – William Shakespeare ENMITY – is the state or feeling of being actively opposed or