Have you ever been sleeping good and then all of the sudden you wake up, look at the alarm clock, and realize that you could sleep for another one or two hours but you are unable to fall asleep? I’m an “on-the-go” kind of person for the most part. From the time my feet hit the floor until right before bed my mind is moving, my feet and hands are moving, and some would say my mouth is moving. There are very few times in which I slow down. This is sometimes by choice and sometimes by necessity. Is this the way we are designed? I would argue that it isn’t, yet we all find ourselves trapped in this rat race. Again many times by our choice and sometimes by necessity. One of my favorite verses in the Old Testament, although one of the toughest for me to practice is Psalms 46:10. The first part of Psalms 46:10 says, “be still and know that I am God.” We don’t know all the specifics surrounding the writing of Psalms 46, but if we read it and infer from the text the author was experiencing a time of difficulty or expecting difficulty for the nation of Israel. The psalm is written to assure the people that God is their defender. Many church historians call this “Luther’s Psalm.” History tells us that when Martin Luther and those who were leading the Reformation would get discouraged that Martin Luther would sing this psalm, and remind them of God’s faithfulness to them. If we are honest, we have times in our life in which we need to be reminded of God’s faithfulness to His children. In fact if we are honest with ourselves, most of the mornings we get awaken before the alarm clock, or the days when our mind is racing the most, it is because there is something weighing heavy on us.
I want to suggest to you that those times in which you are woken up or those times in which you mind is racing that that is actually an invitation from God to slow down and be still. Many times in our lives these occurrences reveal our anxiousness about something. Yet Paul reminds us in Philippians to “be anxious about nothing but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.” Tell God what is on your mind, what burden you are carrying. I read a devotional about a month ago and it talked about taking our cares and concerns to God, especially on nights that we are struggling to get to sleep. The writer reminds his readers that the Bible says that “God never slumbers nor sleeps” in Psalms 121. The writer suggested we give our cares over to God, because there He is already up and there is no reason for both of us to lose sleep over the problem. I found it humorous, not because God is losing sleep over our problems (because He isn’t), but because I thought to myself how many times have I stayed awake with my mind racing? Worry and anxiousness is a sign that we are not trusting God for our particular situation. I want to assure you that God is worthy of our full trust as He will work things out in a way that is best for you. Notice I didn’t say He will work it out how you want Him to, but rather in the way that is best for you.
One final note on this, God has a way of making us slow down if we will not do it ourselves. There have been a few instances in my life in which something has happened and it forced me to slow down, and in some cases stop what I was doing. It was frustrating at first, I saw it has a huge inconvenience, but when I got quiet before God I learned it was for my own good. I’ll give you one final example. I deal with gout from time to time. Most people know what gout is, and those who have it know it can be pretty painful. When I begin to have a break through attack of gout, I slow down (not by choice, but by necessity). I begin to do a few things. I first examine my eating habits. Sometimes when I am working longer than normal or I am working through a difficult situation, I will tend to eat a little more than normal. So I will look back over the past week’s meals and see if that is the case. I will also examine my drinking habits. Am I drinking enough water so I can flush the bad out of my system? I will also ask God, are you trying to slow my down because I haven’t been still before you lately? Sometimes the gout attack is for physical reasons and sometimes for spiritual reasons. God isn’t trying to hurt me or be mean to me. In fact it is just the opposite, He is trying to slow me down, help me be still so that I can hear what He is saying to me. My final encouragement to you in this post is this, God wants a real relationship with you. A relationship requires to parties fully committed to each other. We can’t just talk to God, we also need to be still and listen to what He has to say. He is the creator of it all, He is the One who has planned all of life out, I promise what He has to say to you and to me is worth us slowing down and listening to. So the next time you feel anxious, worried, or frazzled just remember, Be still and know that He is God.
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him