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How to Find Rest in a Crazy World

“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a). I sit and let the words sink deep, let God quiet me with his love once again. For these moments, I step out of the pressure and feel the spaciousness, breathe deep of the love, the peace, the comfort that is here.

There are plenty of reasons it’s not easy to be still right now, inside or out. You don’t need me to list them. You can simply turn on the news, look at your own do-list or prayer-list or calendar, or pause and feel the tension in your shoulders.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

The invitation doesn’t change when the world around us does. In fact, the context in which these words are spoken sounds much like our world today: earthquakes (v. 2-3), nations in uproar (v. 6), fear and weapons and everything unsettled.

How, in the midst of this, can we dare to be still, to risk rest?

Even when we sit before God in physical stillness, how can we sit down on the inside in a posture of trust that our good God has things in hand? And how can our hearts continue be still when it’s time to rise and get on with the part of the work God has entrusted to us?

The psalmist gives us the first part of the answer in the very first words of the psalm.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (v.1).

God—the Creator of this world—is our refuge. He is the hiding place where we can come and find our small and vulnerable selves safely hidden.

God—the One who breathes life into us—is our strength. He’s not just a hiding place around us, but the One who fills and empowers from within.

Scripture is full of images like this, and I am so glad. Sometimes when words alone don’t calm my heart, living in an image does. And so I sit and picture myself safe in the refuge that is God, wrapped in his arms or tucked in a little cave out of the wind or shielded by the One on the cross who stands between me and harm. It’s a picture I can settle into as I sit and know that God is God. On my better days, I can continue to live in the picture when I rise to work. Hidden. And filled. Safe in God’s arms. And empowered by his strength.

But there’s another reason we can be still in this posture of trust.

This unshakeable, shalom-making, refuge-offering God will have the final word. In the end, peace will reign (v. 9). Better still, the Prince of Peace will reign and all war’s weapons will be destroyed (Ps. 46:9; Isaiah 9:5-7).

Not only will war end, but God will be exalted. Everywhere. Even among the nations where chaos reigns right now.

“Be still and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth” (Ps 46:10).

That is why we can be still and know that God is God: we know the end of the story. Though we’re living in the middle, the ending is certain, and the ending is good, because the One who is leading us toward the ending is both unshakeable and Goodness itself.

A Final Prayer

As we choose to still ourselves even for a few moments and sit in the presence of this God, knowing that he is God, may God himself continue to do in us what only God can do, giving us his peace.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.” (2 Thes 3:16a).

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P.S. Want to dive deeper into the invitation to be still and know that God is God? You might be interested in my new book, Risking Rest: Embracing God’s Love Through Life’s Uncertainties. It’s not a “how-to” book. It’s the vulnerable story of my own journey through Afghanistan and illness and how God has been helping me learn to rest in his love through these experiences. It releases November 20th and is available for preorder now. Click here to learn more, read a free chapter, and preorder the book.

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