A Digital Refresh – April 10, 2020: Be Still

Mini-Yo-We

With Easter unfolding around us and a few submissions looking at one Psalm, Psalm 46. Over the Easter Weekend, we will walk with Jesus through his death, the long quiet Saturday, and the glorious resurrection. Join us as we reflect on Psalm 46. As we begin in stillness.

This reflection is from Glendon McGowan. Glendon has served as a member of our summer staff team for many years and will be helping with our out-tripping in summer 2020. 

Today’s Reading: Psalm 46

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

-Psalm 46:10

“Be Still”

If you’ve been in the Christian community before, you’ve likely heard this phrase tossed around before. If you were to imagine it in the context of camp, you could possibly imagine someone sitting on a dock enjoying the sunrise and being in a moment of peace and serenity.

I’m sure scenes like that are fairly easy ways that many of us can experience “stillness”, but the reality is that for the majority of us we are unable to experience this scene every day of our lives. It happens for a season in the summer, and then becomes much more difficult to do when we return to our lives back home. Much of our lives include school and work, both locations that are structured in productivity and performance.

So the question is: “how do we intentionally seek out stillness in the every day?”

For the past four years, I have been doing my BFA at Ryerson University in Toronto. If you’ve been to the heart of Toronto at Yonge and Dundas streets, you will be aware that is is always busy and there is a very wide range of noises that occupy such a large space. While going to school, it seemed that I would never find anywhere to retreat this noise and exuberant visual landscape, and sit back in an attitude of stillness.

In a culture where we are encouraged to work hard- often till we are run dry- it can be hard to just stop, be still and realize what we have in front of us. We are blessed beyond measure, and often are unaware of how God is moving in our lives. Thinking currently, it would seem that in the midst of COVID-19, as we are in isolation in our homes it would be much easier to be still. Much of what we were doing is no longer happening, allowing us more time to dive into the word or spend time with God. However, the realities of life are still present and can often distract us from the time we intend to be still.

In Psalm 46:10, we find the following verse “Be Still and Know I am God”. An oh-so-common verse, I think we often gloss over it, because of how easy we think this practice is and the fact that we think we know what it is speaking about. I encourage you today to meditate on that verse in practising the attitude of being still and recognizing the authority of God over the situation you are currently facing. The second part of this verse “I am God” stood out to me as I was reading this again. It is such a powerful way of God solidifying the fact that he is with us, and reigns over everything with his mighty power.

I was out for a quick stroll the other day and was thinking about this idea and Hillsong Worship’s 2018 song “Be Still”

Here are the lyrics:

Be still and know
That the Lord is in control
Be still my soul
Stand and watch as giants fall

I won’t be afraid
You are here
You silence all my fear
I won’t be afraid
You don’t let go
Be still my heart and know
I won’t be afraid

Be still and trust
What the Lord has said is done
Find rest don’t strive
Watch as faith and grace align

I won’t be afraid
You are here
You silence all my fear
I won’t be afraid
You don’t let go
Be still my heart and know
I won’t be afraid

Surely love and mercy
Your peace and kindness
Will follow me
Will follow me

Surely love and mercy
Your peace and kindness
Will follow me
Will follow me

Surely love and mercy
Your peace and kindness
Will follow me
Will follow me

Surely love and mercy
Your peace and kindness
Will follow me
Will follow me

Your love surrounds me
Your love surrounds me here

Surely love and mercy
Your peace and kindness
Will follow me
Will follow me

Some truths that I hold onto from in this song are:

God is in control
God knows everything about that is happening before we even see it occurring. Trust that he is preparing you for what is to come. The challenges and pains of today could be part of God’s plan for your life in which you rely on his strength.

God doesn’t let go of us.
There is nothing we can do that can separate us from the love of God When we feel distant from God, the truth is that he is standing right next to us.

We can find rest.
Walking the walk can be challenging- but God calls the weary to come to him in the midst of that- to come and be renewed for this race we are running.

The reason I myself and many others struggle with this attitude of “stillness” is that we assume that by being in a place that is relatively silent, we can also be still. Being still requires us to remove ourselves from the distractions of the world and intentionally be in a relationship with God.

As you go throughout these next months be reminded of the truths that God lays before us and the immense beauty in being still.

From,
Glendon

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