Be still and know that I am God
I’d been reciting this over and over in my mind last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It made no difference as to the time of day, or where I was, or what I may have been doing. It was just there.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
“Why is this so important? What am I missing that I’m supposed to be getting? God, are you trying to tell me something? I’m being as still as I can be and do the things that I’m supposed to be doing. Lord, if You’ll just show me what I’m missing here…”
Such was my “conversation” with God the first few days of last week. Eight, nine, ten times a day… Be still and know that I am God. I’d hear it in my head, and answer back with a question or statement every time. “God, I know that you put this in my mind for a reason. The problem is that I don’t know what it is. Can you give me a little clarity here? I’m being still.” Of course, I was having my conversations with God on the run. You see, I really don’t know how to keep still, or at least not for any length of time.
“How many times do I have to plant this in your thoughts, Maniscalco? I want you to be still. NOW.”
I rolled out of bed last Thursday morning at 5:30 to get ready for a men’s Bible study/fellowship group that meets in our hair salon each week. The moment that my feet touched the floor I felt it: the Achilles Tendonitis in my right heel had decided to act up again, the third time that it had done so in the last six weeks. I got dressed and downed a couple of Tylenol on the way out the door, hoping, make that praying that this attack wouldn’t be as bad as the last one.
I was wrong.
By 6:30 I was limping. When I took my wife Jackie to lunch at noon I was hobbling. By the end of the day the pain was so intense that I could do little more than drag my foot in the direction that I was headed. An ice pack and several more Tylenol preceded a fitful night of sleep.
The next morning I was at our salon on crutches (again, for the third time in six weeks). Pride and being a “tough guy” had taken a back seat to the intense, incessant pain in my foot. By nine o’clock I had succumbed to the pain, and was headed back home for the remainder of the day.
Be still and know that I am God.
Once home, I climbed on our bed, propped my foot on a couple of pillows, and turned on the television. The channel was already set on one of the 24 hour news channels, and the news of the day was the tragic earthquake and following tsunami that had rocked Japan. I watched in disbelief as a wall of water rolled through northern Japan, engulfing farmlands, demolishing homes and buildings, and tossing cars and trucks around as if they were fifty-cent toys. Unbelievable. Unfathomable. Humbling.
Mercifully, the station broke away from the destruction in Japan. They wanted to give updates on the uprising in Libya, as well as the latest developments in Iraq. Sandwiched between it all were the most recent round of squabbles in Congress here in our own country.
“Be still and know that I am God” rang out in my mind yet again, in the midst of all the destruction and fighting that I was watching on T.V. This time I did something about it! I went to www.ask.com on my iPhone and typed in what I’d been “hearing” all week long, where I learned that God’s instruction to be still is found in Psalm 46. More curious than ever, I went to www.biblegateway.com and entered the NIV version of the Psalm. I sat in stunned silence at I read the passage, all the while recalling the images that I’d just witnessed on the television.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Fairly impactful message, wouldn’t you say?
Look, I’m no pessimist. I don’t think that the end of the world is near, or that the sky is falling, or that we should be saying goodbye to all of our loved ones. But then again, I could be wrong. I’m just saying that God stopped me dead in my tracks and laid this on my heart to share with you this week, at a time when all of this stuff “just happened” to be going on in the world.
What you do with it is up to you. I’m just saying that perhaps, from time to time, we should all stop whatever it is that we may be doing to be still, if only for a moment, and know that He is God.
Please pray for the people in Japan, and in Libya, and in Haiti, and wherever there is hurt. Pray for the people in your own back yard. Pray for God to tend to the needs of people wherever they may be, that they will feel His presence. That they will know that He is God.
See you next week.