“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10- NIV)
I used to hate the quiet. It felt uncomfortable. I needed noise. I remember when I was in school and had homework to complete. Instead of isolating myself from the rest of my family, I would turn on the television and do my homework in front of it, with all my books littered across the living room floor. It helped me to concentrate. Or else I would play some music. The noise helped me be more productive.
I remember visiting my grandparents and how much they actually like the quiet. And the dark. Picture this; my grandparents sitting in silence, not speaking to each other while they stared out the window. As the sun faded and it was about to become too dark in their living room to see, they would finally turn on the lamp. And just like a scene from a movie, the only noise at their house was a grandfather clock and you could hear the slow ticking sound with the occasional chime, marking the hour and half hour. And they seemed to be liking it.
So, fast forward a few decades, and I catch myself sitting in my living room without a sound. No television, no music, no phone, looking out the window. But, not in the dark- I can’t do without the lights! And I am finding that I am starting to like it too just as my grandparents had. Why? Maybe my age? Maybe I’ve had too much noise before? I’ve raised three kids before after all! I’m not sure exactly. But, I do know it does wonders for my mental health. Maybe the older generations knew something they we don’t.
It isn’t always easy to be still. I want to keep busy. To keep distracted. So I don’t have to stop and overthink. To overthink and attempt to solve all my problems. This overthinking and solving becomes consuming at times and adds to my anxiety and stress. Sound familiar to you too?
The more I think the more I get stressed and worried. If only I could be quiet and not over think so much. Awe…. I get what my grandparents were doing…..shutting out the world’s noise……and being still. Stopping to enjoy the moment in silence. To stare out the window and view God’s creation and admire it. Maybe to reflect on days past, but not to be so busy they couldn’t stop and turn off the noise.
The verse above is from the Book of Psalms- one of my favorite book of the Bible. I researched the verse a bit further and found that in some versions, the verse reads “Stop fighting and know that I am God” (Christian Standard Bible) Interesting.Verse nine from the passage speaks about God’s destruction of weapons of war and of causing wars to cease. And then verse ten tells the audience to stop fighting. Verse eleven explains that God is with His people.
Did you notice it too? God ends the war and destroys the weapons and then instructs the reader to stop fighting, or be still and know that He is God. He is with His people. God had stopped the war, but the readers needed to be reminded to stop fighting. To be still. Isn’t it just like us to keep fighting in our minds, even though the war is ended? God’s got this, but we seem to forget that fact. No matter how much we keep warring in our minds- ie anxiety and worry, God is God and He knows our fighting with our own thoughts won’t change anything. That might be a stretch in interpretation of the verse, but God’s commanding the reader to be still and stop fighting seems to fit. Be quiet. Shut out the noise. Shut down the anxiety. Just let our minds be quiet. So we can reflect on God and His goodness. To stare out the window and see His creation. To see the goodness in what He has done for our enjoyment.
When we quiet ourselves, something else happens; we can listen for His voice. The still, small voice of God, guiding and directing us. Helping us. Don’t let the noise and busyness drown Him out. – God Bless – Nancy