I grew up in suburban Chicago in household that numbered six members. I currently live with my family of five in suburban Atlanta. Frankly neither experience has afforded me a great measure of tranquility. It’s not that I mind usually. In fact I rather enjoy the bustle of life.
This morning I woke up at 4:30 to take Christina to work. Her van needs some work and the shop is within walking distance of our house. Driving on the usually-busy roads before 5:00 am is quite an experience. Almost all the traffic lights are a beautiful green. In the 2.8 miles between our house and Christina’s work I am pretty sure we passed fewer than a dozen other vehicles. Even the early, worm-getting birds were still sleeping.
In this stillness I was reminded of my grandmother’s favorite verse in all of the Bible… the words of the psalmist in Psalm 46:10…
Be still and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.
This morning in the uncomfortable silence I asked myself a question, “What does it mean to be still?” I already know what you’re thinking… the fact that I’m asking myself questions indicates I am already having some issues. For those of us who attempt to live by the Spirit as the Scriptures say, there may be no better way to hear that quiet voice than to be still. Being still means stopping. Being still means listening. Being still is not about words. Being still is not about action. Being still is about emptying me of me so I can be filled with His peace.
This morning… in new ways… I experienced His tranquility.
One thought on “Tranquility”
The NASV sees Psalm 46:10 as a ceasing from striving. YLT renders it as, “Desist, and know that I am God.” It is a warning to unbelievers to stop their persecution of believers as the previous verses were dealing with their fighting against God. These wicked men ought to be in awe of this mighty God because He will be exalted. Those that trust in Him were told in the previous verses not to fear.
I believe personal application can be made to us today as “Be still and know” are wonderful words. I see being still as a passive surrender that we do as we recognize His infinite greatness and power and this implies that we quit focusing upon our circumstances and the evils that plague us on every side. It is time for us to shut up and stop our complaining either about God or to God about what life seems to be throwing our way. So many people today claim that God seems distant or that they cannot hear Him. It would be good advice for them to be still and behold the mighty works that God has done for us on Calvary’s cross rather than focusing on financial woes, health issues, their many sins of omission and commission and so on. Being still does not imply an emptying of the mind as New Age heresy teaches but filling it with who God is and what He has done and what He will do.
For years I could not hear God because of my many preconceived ideas that contradicted His word. To me they were logical of what I as a believer should be expecting from God. When God through His chastening hand brought me to a place where I came to realize that I know nothing is when God was able to speak. Just like Rob said that it is an “emptying of me” as I lay there open before God hearing only Him and nothing else.