Be Still and Know that I am God

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.

The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

As difficult and likely controversial as it is to play favorites, Psalm 46 may be my favorite Psalm. If I’m honest, it is one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture. The Psalm simply leaves me breathless each time I stumble upon it.

The beginning of verse 10, “Be still and know that I am God,” is a refrain that I return to time and time again, especially in days that are as confusing and unknowable as the days that we are currently living in seem to be.

Be still, and know that I am God.

The earth is changing, the mountains shake in the heart of the seas, the waters roar and foam, the mountains tremble, but we will not fear, says the Psalmist. Be still and know that I am God.

These words are comforting. Although if you’re like me, it’s difficult to find that stillness sometimes. Amidst the trials of our everyday life, there’s always something that’s bidding for our attention, and so often, something bidding for my anxiety and worry. The refrain, “Be still and know that I am God” can so quickly seem like an insurmountable task. Our lives might seem too full to truly be still. But emptiness and stillness are not the same things.

In his book “Pond, River, Ocean, Rain” author, priest, and friend of Good Samaritan, Chaz Howard writes this,

Being still has been a necessary part of my walk. Stillness, I should add, is not for me the same as emptiness. While the waters of the pond might be still on the surface, there is much life moving within. Life is within. Love is within!

When I am still I do not empty myself. I would rather be filled with love than have nothing within. And being still allows for this to happen, or rather being still allows for you and I to notice that this has happened already. The love is there within us, even now.

God is with us on our journey. God’s love is with us on our journey. Stillness is simply recognizing that fundamental reality of our life as Christians.

I pray in the midst of whatever you have filling your life this week, you would find space for the stillness of God to wash over you. Filling you with life and love and assurance that although the world around us may be shaking, we can rest assured that God is still God and God’s love and grace and presence are with us in an unending kind of way.

With love,

Fr. Ben

P.S. I love the way that Bifrost Arts has put Psalm 46 to a song, here’s a link: