I wonder if everyone has a similar kind of moment – I was 18 years old and away at College, I was questioning quite a bit of things in my life. What is my purpose? Why am I here? And, while I’ve always had faith, at that time, I still wondered “Is there a God? If so, how do I know for sure?” I was attending a small private Catholic college, not too far from my home. While I was not, nor have I ever been Catholic, this college offered a program that I thought I might have been interested for a career. I also liked the quiet, small setting of the campus. I struck up a sort of a friendship with one of my instructors, perhaps she was really more of a mentor than friend. It was very early in the semester, and I sensed a sort of peace from this Nun, she possessed joy, and she seemed nothing like the way that Nuns were described by the Catholic school kids in the neighborhood in which I grew up. I wrote her a letter, pouring out my concerns, questions, and my heart. And, she responded, graciously and kindly. She talked about her love of God, how very sure she was that God existed. We met an talked on and off over that semester. She gave me one key verse that’s stayed with me ever since:
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (Psalm 46:10, NLT)
“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, ESV)
While the rest of the Psalm is written in the third person, it is here that God’s voice rings out clearly from the midst of this Psalm. He assures us that He is in control. And, it tells me that despite all that we try to do, he has complete dominion over our earth, and if we let Him, our entire lives.
But, we often confuse just what that phrase “Be still” means. I originally thought it meant to be quiet, and rest in God – a wonderful picture of sitting and quieting reflecting on God in a rather hectic world. I can see myself, sitting in a very cozy chair, covered with my favorite quilt, my Bible open on my lap, with a nice cup hot tea in hand, my sweet little Daschshund curled up beside my Bible, while I pondered the writings of His Word, and the birds chirped merrily away in my yard.
However, recently I learned that the phrase “Be still,” actually comes from the Hebrew word rapa, which “means to sink down, let drop, or be slack.” (http://www.abarim-publications.com/Dictionary/r/r-p-a.html#.W7I6zYopCfA) Knowing this definition of the original word, gives me a better, more complete, image of just what that very kind Nun was trying to tell me. Her message is now much clearer – cease fighting, stop wrestling, put down your weapons, put down your fists, and acknowledge God. “It connotes two people fighting until someone separates them and makes them drop their weapons. It is only after the fighting has stopped that the warriors can acknowledge their trust in God.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/be-still-and-know-that-I-am-God.html) Got Questions goes on to say “For God’s people being “still” would involve looking to the Lord for their help (cf. Exodus 14:13); for God’s enemies, being “still” would mean ceasing to fight a battle they cannot win.”
Eight simple words, “Be still, and know that I am God!,” sums up a great portion of what having a basic Christian faith is all about. Know that God is God, and we are not. We cannot control too much of anything. There is no true security in this world apart from Him. Put down your weapons, stop shaking your fists, stop fighting battles that you cannot win on your own. Look to the one and only place where true, pure, help comes from – for there is no earthly security apart from God. And, after you do that, grab yourself a nice cup of hot tea, sit down in your favorite comfy, quiet spot, grab your Bible, and do the other kind of being still – sit and ponder, peacefully, all that God’s done for you, and will do in the future. There’s your security.
When you were questioning your faith, was there a specific verse that you landed upon?