My pastor was preaching a sermon from Psalm 46. As he was preaching, and as I was looking at the Psalm, I got sidetracked by the words “Be still”. Be still and know that I am God. Be still, God is my fortress. Will the walls hold in the storm? Will the windows hold? Will we be okay? Be still.
Worry seems natural, but God’s protection is super-natural (Wow, does that sound corny). The wind howls and wails. The storm churns the sea. Nations are in uproar and upheaval. And that is all I see.
Where is God? Children die from wars, disease, cruelty, and abuse. Young boys and girls are bought and sold into slavery every day. Bad things happen to really good people and good things happen to really bad people.
Where is my refuge? If it rains, I get wet. If the waves surge, I get tossed around. If the government raises taxes, I get charged. Okay, that last one is a stretch; I just don’t much like taxes. How come I don’t have a storm shelter to run into when it gets ugly outside? I am talking about having a real place, a safe place, a God place that I can see touch and feel. Where is it? I don’t see God’s loving arms surrounding me.
Where is my strength? I worry about bad people doing bad things. I realize just how powerless I am to stop almost all of it. I am so weak and powerless. I have to do something, anything to make things better. I try to fix one area and another problem crops up. I move from problem to problem to problem.
Then it hit me. It is a matter of perspective.
The world’s bark is worse than its bite. None of the things that happen in this world have control over my soul. Nothing has the ability to separate me from God. These things can wail and howl and snarl and bite, but they can’t win. With that perspective, I now realize that God is indeed my refuge and strength.
After describing the troubles that surround us, the Psalmist points us to God. God says to look at the desolation he has brought to the earth. The desolation he brings about is the end of war and the end of weapons. God delivers us.
Why don’t I experience that? Why don’t I see it? Because I am constantly running around trying to make sure everything is okay. I don’t stop. I am never still.
I need to keep “The Anchor Holds” by Ray Boltz on a loop in my head. The chorus says, “The Anchor holds, though the ship is battered. The Anchor holds, though the sails are torn. Well I have fallen on my knees, as I faced the raging sea, But the Anchor holds, in spite of the storm.”
I keep thinking that storms mean that I am doing something wrong. Jesus says something different. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount he talks about a house built on a solid foundation. “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock” Matthew 7.25.
I will presume that the storm was scary. I will presume the man heard the storm outside his home. But the house stood. The foundation Jesus lays for us on which to build our house can stand the storm.
I can be still and know. I can be still. We can be still.
The rest of the world worries and runs around trying to meet their needs. We can be still. And in our stillness, we will make God’s strength and power known.
What is keeping you from being still?