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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”—Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
Many times, Christians will use this verse to encourage one another in their efforts of rest, which is certainly not wrong; however, the context of this psalm may lend to another takeaway as well. The majority of Psalm 46 speaks on God being a refuge and stronghold amid a chaotic and dangerous world. His glory, might, and power are emphasized before we reach this verse, leaving the impression that God’s stillness calls us to make a conscious decision to surrender and stand in awe of His presence. In doing so, we will know Him more and also be filled with His peace.
Perhaps it seems evident that peace would be found in stillness, but an important question to ask is why stillness requires peace. The relationship between peace and stillness reminds me of a mutualistic symbiotic relationship. I know that sounds complicated, but follow along and it will all make sense!
A symbiotic relationship is a relationship between different animal species in which one or both species interact. For it to be mutualistic, both species must benefit from each other rather than solely one of them. One of my favorite examples is the relationship between corals and these tiny algae called zooxanthellae! Their relationship works because the corals provide the zooxanthellae with protection and housing while the zooxanthellae provide the corals with essential nutrients from photosynthesis. If we view peace and stillness as being in this mutualistic symbiotic relationship, we’ll see that peace helps us embrace stillness and stillness helps replenish our peace!
Unfortunately, the enemy has created misconceptions about “being still” that focus on knowing and being with God. For instance, we must know there is a difference between being still and being apathetic—one requires intentionality and honesty while the other involves a lack of desire or motivation. Likewise, there’s a difference between being still and being lazy—one requires obedience and solitude while the other involves dishonesty and distractions. Also, there’s a difference between being still and being unoccupied—one requires setting aside time to fix our eyes on Christ while the other involves setting aside time to decompress without Christ.
As we reflect on the Christmas story, we can see various examples of what “being still” actually looks like.
When we allow ourselves to be still and embrace God’s peace, we can more clearly hear and listen to His kind voice, see and follow His guiding hands, and submit and obey to His good commands. This Christmas season, may we cease striving and be still in the presence of the Lord, both embracing His peace and receiving it in even greater amounts. And as a result, may we also see, hear, and submit to Him.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.