BY JORDAN MAYER
"Be still, and know that I am God..."
I needed to hear this verse this week, and maybe you need to hear it too.
Life is hard sometimes, isn't it? We may go through periods of calm and peace only to be followed by times of stress and anxiety. I think the Psalmist captures these feelings well with the imagery used. The earth gives way, the mountains move into the sea, the waters roar and foam. These descriptions are the ancient equivalent of "my world is crumbling around me".
I notice that I can feel this way in a variety of circumstances. Most obvious, of course, are the sudden and shocking events that happen in all our lives. They truly rock our world in a way we can never prepare for.
However, we also face the "normal" trials and struggles of life, the daily hardships that are simply a fact of life here on this earth. These things present their own unique challenge. While not sudden or catastrophic, they are often lingering and agonizing. They are the things that make the Psalmist cry, "How long, O Lord? Over time, these slow agonies can cause us to despair and lose hope. So what hope is there to be offered? I think Psalm 46 tells us.
It begins with a reminder: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). I love that detail, "a very present help". God isn't offering His support from a far and distant command post, He is right there in the trenches with us. He is the bunker we run into to find protection from the enemy's attack and He is also the strength we need to do battle and take the hill.
And this Psalm assumes something. It assumes that we are in trouble. Praise God for miraculous deliverances, but much of our lives are marked by the troubles we endure. That is why these verses can be such an encouragement to us. We are not abandoned, God is with us! When we pass through the waters and rivers, He is with us. When we walk through fire and flame, He is with us. (Isaiah 43:2)
So when we are utterly overwhelmed, when we are depressed and ready to despair...be still. Be still and know that He is God. Whatever we might be battling or going through, either today or tomorrow or next week or next month, be still and know that He is God. He is our refuge, our strength, and a very present help in trouble.
You see, knowing that God is God means truly knowing who He is. When we are scared, we remind ourselves that we don't need to fear because He is with us (Isaiah 41:10). When we are anxious, we remind ourselves that He is our peace (2 Thessalonians 3:16). When we start to despair, we remind ourselves that He is our hope (Romans 15:13). When we feel too weak to carry on, we remind ourselves that He is our strength (Psalm 73:26). When all seems dark, we remind ourselves that God is our light.
Though the world may be crumbing around us, we simply need to be still and know He is God.