The pastor said, “Roberto, you know better than that!"
The next week the pastor stopped Roberto who had another black eye. “Now what happened to you?"
Roberto said, “I am so perplexed. I was at church with my buddy and we were sitting at service and guess who sits in front of us? You guessed it, Sister Sally!"
“Roberto, you didn't pull on her dress again?” asked the pastor.
“I did not! But when Sister Sally stood and my friend saw her dress was stuck; being the gentleman that he is, he reached over and pulled it out. I remembered how mad she got for having her dress pulled out so I pushed it back in."
I find scripture that tells me if I am persistent I will get what I’m seeking. I must not be being persistent enough. Off I go being persistent. As soon as I start, I get distracted and realize I can't do this.
Then I find another scripture, “Ask and believe you have received it and it will be yours.” I must not have enough faith, that is my problem. Off I go being faithful, but my faith wanes and I realize that I need to be persistent, round and round, faith, persistence. I try to be more faithful and persistent. I can't seem to do either let alone both, I feel trapped.
“STOP,” I hear in my mind.
I pause and it comes to me, John 8:32, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
When I felt trapped by the word, I understood it wasn't the truth. The word properly understood should free, not condemn or confine. Regardless, I felt I needed to do something, anything. Then I heard the second scripture, Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”
What kind of instructions were, “Be still.” God, you just don't get it! I am in a battle, be still, more like attack with an army, that makes more sense. Nonetheless, I kept hearing, “Be still and know that I am God.”
It was time to understand the meaning of this phrase.
It turns out there is far more to this directive than I realized. First of all, this direction was given to the Psalmist while engaged in a tremendous battle when God says, "Be still.”
This is a call for those involved in the war to stop fighting, to be still. The word still is a translation of the Hebrew word, rapa, meaning “to slacken, let down, or cease.” This is for two people fighting until someone separates them and makes them drop their weapons. It is only after the fighting has stopped that the warriors can acknowledge their trust in God.
I misinterpreted the command to, “be still” as “to be quiet in God’s presence.” While quietness is certainly helpful, like Roberto in the joke, I missed the point. The phrase means to stop frantic activity and to be still.
The scripture continues with, "Know that I am God." Know in this instance means, “to properly ascertain by seeing” and “acknowledge, be aware.” I realized acknowledging God impacts my ability to be still. How? I know that He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), omnipotent (all-powerful), holy, sovereign, faithful, infinite, and good. Acknowledging God implies that I can trust Him and surrender to His plan because I understand who He is.
Conclusion: Stop with the frantic behavior. Recognize who God is and let that knowledge bring you peace. If you are struggling as you seek answers with a job, spouse, child, school or whatever, stop. Rest.
A wise person once told me we were made human beings not human doings.
Sit a while, you all come back now, you hear?