Be still, and know that I am God. -Psalm 46:10
My three least favorite words have become “due to weather.” (Previously, it was a tie between “the internet’s down” and “the chocolate’s gone.”) Over the past weeks, there have been so many things I have not been able to do that I had really planned on. I’m pretty tired of last-minute cancellations and rescheduling. And I’m definitely tired of being cooped up inside.
I was making a list of all the things I missed the past couple of weeks: meetings that were canceled or rescheduled, activities that had to be postponed, and people I hadn’t seen “due to weather,” just to name a few. In the middle of my list, I suddenly thought of Noah. He and his family spent months on a self-contained floating zoo, and they didn’t even have Netflix. No wonder the first thing Noah did when he got off the ark was give thanks to God!
In the midst of “due to weather” stuff, though, I’m trying not to think about how Noah felt at the end of his journey. I know how I’ll feel when spring is here! It’s the time on the ark that’s got my attention. The Bible tells us almost nothing about those long days and weeks and months. We don’t know which member of the family won the game of Monopoly they actually had time to finish. (Okay, so they didn’t really have Monopoly.)
We don’t think much about waiting. Unless, that is, we’re in the middle of waiting. In that case, waiting is the only thing we think about. I don’t just mean waiting for better weather. I mean waiting for an anticipated phone call, waiting for a job review, waiting for a movie to release, waiting for surgery to end, any kind of waiting at all. Most of us aren’t very good at it. We can never seem to shift our attention away from what we wish would happen to what is happening right now.
What if instead of always looking for what’s next, we took a deep breath and looked around? Next time you’re waiting and watching and trying to figure out what in the world to do in the meantime, what about just sitting still for five minutes and listening to what’s going on around you? God is still there in the waiting time as surely as God is there in the fast-paced doing time. God might even be trying to tell you something in that waiting time that you would miss if you were always hustle-bustling about.
What if we really took the waiting time as an opportunity instead of an inconvenience? Psalm 46, like many psalms, is written as if the voice of God is speaking. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Not “Pray the right prayer, and know that I am God.” Not “Git r done, and know that I am God.” Not “Fake it til you make it, and know that I am God.” Just “Be still.”
To be honest, being still sounds harder than doing stuff. But if God has said that there’s something about being still that will show who God is, who am I to say no?
God, help me be still. Even when I don’t want to pause, to wait, to delay, use the stillness to show me that you are God. Amen.