“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
As I walked with our dogs through our neighborhood early one morning last week, the sun made its first extended appearance in days. The Icicles glistening off of the trees were beautiful. The snow and ice blanketing the ground revealed another beautiful aspect of God’s creation. The dogs enjoyed eating the snow and ice as we walked along the street.
There was very little noise on our walk. The only sounds were the crunching of our feet on the snow and ice and the chirping of the birds as they foraged for food on the ground. Occasionally, I could hear a vehicle pass by the highway that runs next to our neighborhood, but for the most part, the morning was silent and still. Our neighbors were still in bed or enjoying the warmth of their home. They wouldn’t be going to work today. Sleds sat outside in the yard ready to be used again by the children and teens who wouldn’t be going to school that day. The neighborhood was still.
The past twelve months have been strange. They have been marked by stillness. The pandemic shut things down and slowed our lifestyles. Even though our community has been reopened as much as any community, there is still less traffic and busyness. Other cities, especially major metropolitan areas, remain shut down with virtual school and few stores or restaurants open. We feel this change in pace of life. It’s been weird. It’s a little disconcerting. We aren’t used to being so still.
In Psalm 46, God tells us to be still. When we are consistently busy and running from place to place, it’s hard to connect with God. In the story of Scripture, when godly men and women connected with God, it was often in stillness and silence. Jacob wrestled with God in solitude. Moses went on a mountain to speak with God. David found God in the quietness of the pasture and the wilderness. Jesus went alone to “quiet places” to pray and commune with God. Paul spent three years with God before he began his ministry. John received his Revelation while he was exiled on the isle of Patmos. Stillness allows God to speak and for us to hear Him.
In our fast-paced connected world, stillness is difficult to obtain. We have demands upon us, devices continually in our face, and pressures from workplaces and social life to go and go and go. Yet, God still speaks in our stillness. He speaks when we are quiet. He speaks when we calm our hearts and minds before Him. In this stillness, we can hear His voice speaking to our spirits. In this stillness, we receive His direction, encouragement and comfort.
It’s been a strange season. If there has anything that has been good about the pandemic and this season of strangeness, it may be the stillness that has been brought to us. It may be the reality, that we need stillness and quiet in our lives. It may be the truth that we have run too fast for too long and we need to rest and be still.
God is speaking in the quiet and stillness. Do you hear Him?