Being still is becoming a lost art in a world where digital devices have become our bosses.
It's easy for us singles to be shook up all the time. We have to make a conscious effort to stay calm, not only for our sanity but for our general health as well. We can get swept into the hurry-hurry-hurry pace of deadlines, short attention spans, multi-tasking, and all the other traps that turbo-charge our lives.
Add to that problems with relationships, workplace politics, finances, personal safety, illness, and concerns about your future.
No wonder we can't get to sleep at night. When your mind is racing from one worry to another, all the systems that help you nod off can't function the way they're supposed to. Instead of becoming more relaxed, you work yourself into a state of nervous agitation.
All this jitteriness seems to come from the fast pace of our electronic age, but people have been worrying since ancient times. God gave a simple cure in the 46th Psalm:
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10, NIV)
It helps us achieve being still better if we look at the second half first.
He's not asking us to believe here, which takes effort on our part. He's telling us to accept the fact that he is God. When we know something, we put that truth into our memory bank and act on it. This fact is not open to debate. If God says he is God, the brainiest scientists on the planet can't disprove that. This is settled. It's final. Our God is God, the one and only True God.
Here the emphasis is on "I". Notice he didn't say, "Know that you are God." You're not, so what does that mean? Well, it means there are some situations you don't have the power to control. They're out of your hands. Oh, you'd like to be able to fix every single thing in your life, but you just can't.
Accept it. Learn to live with it. Really, it's kind of liberating. It takes the pressure off you not only to fix your own life but to fix other people's lives as well. You can do what you can for yourself, or for them, but you can only take it so far.
Know why? BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT GOD! Sorry for shouting. Gosh, we all wish we were God, because then we'd set everything and everybody straight. But since we're not, we have to leave the things we can't control to him.
This last part takes some mind-stretching. He's God. That means he created the entire universe from nothing. What's more, he just spoke it into existence. From electrons to the most mammoth stars, he created it all.
The best way to understand what God can do is to read about him in the Bible. He performed all kinds of impossible miracles. But all things are possible to him because he's God. He makes and breaks the rules. He heals the sick. He makes messed-up lives right again. He saves us from our sins. And he will bring you and me home to heaven with him, where we'll live in peace forever. Remembering that helps in being still.
God is the ultimate power, and he loves you. You can ask him to help you, and he will. His solution may not be exactly what you wanted, but he always acts out of love for you. Ultimate power and ultimate love. That's as good as it gets.
Those are some heavy thoughts on being still, maybe too heavy to think about at bedtime, but please mull them over for the next couple days.
As I write this article, I am 62 years old, and I can tell you that I don't have a lot of regrets in life, but one of them is the amount of time and energy I wasted on worry.
Most of the things I have worried about never came to pass. Of the few that did, none was as bad as I expected. After all, I'm still here and in good shape. Somehow things manage to work out.
So please, please learn the lesson NOW that took me a lifetime to learn: Do all you can toward your problem and trust God to protect you. I know that's hard, but it's one of the secrets of the Christian life.
Know that the most powerful being in existence has a huge crush on you. He loves you and wants to take care of you.
That goes a long way toward being still. When you understand who is on your side, you can breathe easier. You can let go, because he's got your back.
Once you've done your best, you can be at peace if you let God do the rest. He's brought you this far. He'll take you the rest of the way safely, until you're home with him. It's true. It's not open to argument, so stop debating with yourself.
"Be still, and know that I am God."