The battle around me has at times been a bloody gore-fest. The battle in my mind, even more gruesome. For a person who can't stomach a PG-13 action movie, where I know the carnage on the screen is fiction, real life threatens to absolutely overwhelm me. And if the intensity of the struggle on the field around me lets up for a moment, the battle in my mind escalates, grows into an exhausting cranial shout-down match between the old man and the new. Even as I read the command to stand, I feel my knees buckle.
This is where I find myself this morning, pleading for internal quiet, for rest, for peace. And this is what I read this morning: Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah. -Psalm 46:8-11
I heard a pastor once explain that the expression be still could be better translated - Sit down and shut up! It carries with it a forcefulness that cannot be ignored. It leaves no pause for contemplation or discussion. Being still is not a passive act, but a deliberate, forceful act of obedience to an emphatic command from a powerful Lord.
Today, I am too weak to stand. But God is gracious. He addresses the warring forces within me. He orders them both: "Sit down and shut up." And to me, He says, "Be still...be still and know that I am God."