Staying Still

“Be still, and know that I am God;” -Psalm 46:10a (NIV)

We live in a fast-paced world. In an era where everything seems to be instant and convenient, we have become accustomed to our requests being granted immediately. However, in exchange we have lost the ability to be still and patient. Our lives have become so hectic that what concerns us is what is in front of us now and nothing else. We say that we do not have the time to think about God or the world around us; that we should spend our energies watching our own back because that is our immediate concern. Maybe when things calm down then we’ll start remembering God and the finer things of life. But that moment never comes and we only end up reinforcing unhealthy attitudes of self-reliance that serves to distance ourselves from God and contribute to our own ruin.

But it is in those hectic and busy moments that we need to hold onto God the most. Our frail human bodies cannot handle the pressure that we place ourselves under. God can help us, but because He has given us free will to act, we must make the conscious choice of being still before Him, knowing that He has the world in His hands. Being still before Him means meditating on Him and His Word, away from the distractions of life, communing with Him, and asking Him for the strength and guidance to carry on. We must acknowledge His authority over our lives if we are to free ourselves from the stresses that we create. When we have taken the time to be still before the One who controls the universe, we see our lives and our situations in a different light. Our priorities are arranged in a manner that would truly benefit us and we will have the wisdom and foresight to avoid the pitfalls that we would have otherwise fallen into in our impatience or in our own human understanding. Being still before Him is the key to living a full and satisfying life. May we all make sure to be still before Him and allow Him to direct our paths.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Worried Birds

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” –Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

Christians are perhaps the most worried of sorts. Ironic is it not? The very people who serve a God who promises to protect and provide for them even more than His loving care for the sparrow, are the most notorious for being anxious and troubled. Whenever trials come, the first response always seems to be “why?”. Why did God allow this to happen? Why doesn’t God provide for us now? Despair is a natural human response, and because we can never look above our circumstances and see the whole plan God has set for our lives, we often react to our present reality. God understands our short-sightedness and allows us to despair. Psalm 88 is prime evidence of that fact. It is perfectly understandable when troubles come to grieve, wail, and mourn for in reality, keeping a stiff upper lip is often hard to do.

At the same time however, Christians should take comfort in the fact that God never forsakes His people, and always has a beautiful plan for their lives. Although we can never see the whole plan, we can see bits of it in retrospect. God’s faithfulness to His followers is often understood by His followers after the trial has passed. Suffering produces strength and faith in the believer. Should a believer hold the hand of God and trust Him in his present situation, not only would he have the strength to face greater challenges, but his faith in God’s faithfulness will be strengthened simultaneously. Despair has its place no doubt, but clinging onto despair will only further entrench a person into helplessness and misery. Christ came to set free humanity from a lot of things. One of these things was worry. As long as the believer continues to place His trust and obedience in Christ, He can rest and find solace in his Savior’s promises never to abandon and never to forsake, that the torturous night eventually gives way to the glorious day.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.