“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Why be still? The psalmist seems to imply that by being still we will know that God is God. In fact, if we can just be still, we will even see Him exalted among the nations, exalted in the whole earth. Now that is something worth waiting for! So why, then, is it so hard to wait, to be still?
Well, for starters, it feels so unproductive to our Western minds. Even harder, it puts us in a place of releasing every bit of control we think we have on our lives and situations. Releasing. It can feel so exhilarating and so frightening at the same time. Such a paradox!
Yep, that’s me. A paradox. I long to trust God with every single part of my life and my future…and then I quickly try to grab the reigns back before it goes somewhere different than what I believe it should be.
While on my most recent silent retreat, this poem was on display, and the words went in deep like a surgeon’s instrument:
…allow a gentle gardener to dig around your roots,
to gift you with manure,
to trust in fruits you don’t yourself yet see,
to wait for hidden beauty to emerge,
grace that is already there to flower.
Can you leave your fear of the axe?
Can you let go long enough to imagine blossoms?
Can you bless your blest, bare branches?
Can you let the gardener dig?
Can you hold still?
I, personally, am ready for that hidden beauty to emerge. I’m not sure I can leave my fear of the axe, because I am so afraid it will chop off something I want to remain there. But why would I fear the hand that holds the axe and does the pruning, when it has nail scars that gave me new life?
Because I am human. Jesus knew what it was to be human, which is why He told His disciples to pray in the garden of Gethsemane that they would not fall into temptation. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
Yep, my flesh is weak. It doesn’t want to wait or be still, it wants to know and do.
As my loving heavenly Father knows this so well, He keeps putting words of waiting, silence, and stillness on my heart and in my daily Scripture readings.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
Okay, God. Okay, I will try to be still. Thank you for being a loving Champion who fights for me. Thank you that I can trust and be still.