Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. – Psalms 46:10-11
“What do you want to be when you grow up, little Johnny?” From our youth, being is confused with doing – no wonder we grownups don’t know the difference. To get to know you, the guy on the plane just has to know, “What do you do?” If you ever want to drive a new acquaintance crazy, be vague and mysterious about your occupation.
So then, a good thing like hard work can become a bad thing when it morphs into an obsession with self-realization. Before my cancer diagnosis, there were times when, admittedly, my to-do list was more important to me than my prayer list. Doing for God trumped being with God and allowing Him to empower my work.
So when we find ourselves in a crisis – such as a medical storm – it is easy to scramble about to do something. Anything. Against this dysfunctional backdrop, the Lord of the universe invites us, even commands us, to be still. But how do we be still?
- Cease striving. According to Jesus, our human fretting accomplishes absolutely nothing anyway.
- Calm yourself physically. Slowly relax your entire body starting from the top of your head down to your toes. Go ahead and do that now, breathing slowly and deeply along the way.
- Calm yourself internally. Relax your mind and heart – don’t permit them to race on over various scenarios. Focus instead on the Lord and His love and power.
- Consider that there is indeed a God, and as they say, we are not Him. Surrender to His control. “Know” that He is God.
- Claim His protection over you. As Psalm 46 says, He is the Lord of hosts, angelic armies watching over you… and He is our Stronghold, a place of great strength and perfect rest.
Lord, when our world spins out of control, help us be still and trust Your strength to get us through.