He says, “Be still, and know that I am
God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
From the average guy like me, to a revolutionary theologian like Martin Luther, I don’t know of many verses that are quoted and frankly, “miss quoted” more than this little verse above. It is a gem of a verse that is nestled in the midst of a trio of Psalms, 46-48. People much more learned than I, recommend that these psalms be taken in the same context. A context that God is truly awesome, and even if the whole earth is completely destroyed, He will last forever. He will be with us and we will be with Him. He will establish a future that we can count on.
Too often we use this verse as a way to calm our busy lives when really it is not so much that we lead busy lives, in truth, we lead fearful lives. Humanity is a timid race that consistently bounces between self righteousness and self doubt. Perhaps if we ever learned how to reduce the level of self and increase the level of God in the equation, maybe then we will be able to focus on righteousness and turn our backs on doubt.
But the purpose of this post is not to drone on with flowery words that sound deeper than they really are. My hope this Christmas is to capture a very practical picture of this from an eye witness example of Jesus on earth. The example is taken right out of the Bible, Mark 4:35-40.
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Mark 4:35-40 (NIV)
Every generation of humanity has experienced more than its share of injustice, pain and abject poverty. Like the men in that boat with Jesus we often find ourselves turning to God in panic and fear. We cry out to God to save us from certain death.
Candidly, our world is in a life or death struggle. The picture of a little boat in a big storm is not just a quaint little Bible story for kids at Sunday School. Our world is in a typhoon of trouble and with all the pain we endure we often think that God must be sleeping to allow such injustice.
Dear God, help us remember what you have already shown us throughout history. Help us remember that, through Christ, You are our refuge and strength; our ever-present help in times of trouble. Help us remember that, one word from you can make the earth melt. When you say “Quiet, Be Still!” even the greatest storms are no more.
Many are losing hope that you can bring peace to our world. Perhaps we will not experience peace until Jesus returns to this planet someday. In the mean time, please help us see that you are in this boat with us. After thousands of years we are still afraid. After all that you have done, we still have no faith.
By your mercy, dear God, like you have done in the past, please help us overcome our unbelief, (Mark 9:14-25), so that we can experience what it means to truly “be still” and know that you are God. Our hearts are where the storm exists, God. Please help surrender our hearts to you.
Because of the works of your Son, I am thankful to be able to ask this of You.
Please let it be so.