Our valued NHS staff can’t relax and be still just now, run off their feet caring for people. Many others are busy keeping our food supplies going. We thank them for their courage, and pray for their safety. For most of us though, everything is strangely quiet, the streets are empty such as we’ve never seen before. We have the opportunity to “Be still”.
Sometimes we are too busy to settle down, to quieten our thoughts, to focus on the most important things in life. Whatever else may be important to us, nothing is more important for us all just now than listening to God, and speaking to Him about whatever concerns us. As we listen to Him in the stillness, He listens to us as we pray.
You could read Psalm 46 where our key verse comes from. It describes in graphic language situations which seem out of control, threatening and upsetting, like what is facing people all over the world right now.
Notice first v.5 – God is right there, and He promises to help, to keep us steady, to calm our fears: “therefore we will not fear” (v.2). We read this also in Hebrews 13.5-6: “He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you, so we may boldy say ... I will not fear”. Also in Psalm 23, even in the valley of the shadow of death “I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” So for now and for always, let us “trust and not be afraid” (Isaiah 12.2).
Now notice v.10: “Be still ...” He wants us to know that He is GOD.
We should “Sit still”- waiting for a promise to come true (Ruth 3.18).
Then three times in the Bible we read that we should “Stand still “ -
- In Exodus 14.13 - to trust the great power of God to save us.
- In 1 Samuel 9.27 - to listen to the good Word of God to guide us.
- In Job 37.14 - to consider the wondrous works of God all around us, to lift our spirits to worship Him who made them all.
If you want to sing something about being still, try this one (tune Finlandia)
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Here is another one, one from Sunday School days (tune What a friend we have in Jesus)
Said the robin to the sparrow, “Friend I’d really like to know
Why those anxious human beings rush about and worry so!”
Said the sparrow to the robin, “Friend I think that it must be
That they have no heavenly Father, such as cares for you and me!”