A most appreciated Bible verse

At this juncture of life, Psalm 46:10 is the verse I find myself turning to again and again for reassurance, advice, and focus. “Be still, and know that I am God...” (KJV)

This advice was front and center this week, as I took a day to step back from life’s routine of chores, responsibilities, obligations and all the busyness that structures daily existence. Other versions of the Bible translate this verse slightly different:

“Cease striving and know that I am God…” (New American Standard version)

“Our God says, ‘Calm down and learn that I am God…” (Contemporary English version)

“Be in awe and know that I am God…” (International Standard version)

But for me the King James says it all, starting with “Be still…” I know what you’re thinking—Is that even possible? I don’t have time to slow down, let alone to be still. But the days I find being still the hardest are the days I need this mandate the most. “Be still…” is not God’s suggestion, but His directive to keep me focused on Him. When I’m overwhelmed with my to-do-list, anxious about my budget, frazzled with my children, frustrated with my spouse, I am called back into God’s loving embrace, back into His calm at the eye of life’s storm. I am reminded that I am not in control. I do what I am capable of and trust in my Father to accomplish what He has planned. He promises, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:30 KJV.

Now in full disclosure, I was not in the middle of a typical week. I was on vacation and spent a full day of relaxation at a stunningly beautiful Oregon winery and BnB. Yes, it’s okay to be envious. The strolls through the lush grounds, watching the clouds churn on the horizon from the deck, and lounging while listening to dawn’s melodious chirping made the be still command easy to obey. However, during the relentless tasks of “real life” I usually have to force myself into motionlessness—for prayer, meditation, or silent observation of God’s creative genius. I did all three for extended periods of time at Youngberg Hill and came away refreshed and ready to jump into the fray once again.

In my mind I acknowledge that God’s commands are for my own good. But during the times when I am caught-up in my own priorities, following this simple instruction brings immediate proof that my Creator understands what I need to flourish and thrive. Usually it is only a ten-minute pause that allows God to step into my life, into my troubles, into my chaos. During those precious minutes I revel in Psalm 46:10 and let God wrap his arms tightly around me and whisper, “I love you.”

I know that He is God, and I am in awe that the creator of the universe knows me.

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