When hard times in life hit you, how do you respond? You lose a job, what do you do? You get sick, what do you do? I can tell you my tendencies. My first response is usually to freak out and then I get busy. The worse the problem, the busier I get! I appoint myself to fix the problem! I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to find a way, anyway really, to improve on my current situation. The bad thing is I don’t usually know what direction to go, so I spend tons of energy working as hard as I can in the wrong direction or in thirteen different directions. My hope is if I throw out enough arrows, maybe one will hit a target. I don’t stop to consider if it is the right target. Ultimately, I don’t get anywhere, I am tired, stressed out and things haven’t gotten better at all. I don’t think this response is rare, I have a feeling I am not the only one that responds to life’s challenges this way.
Interestingly, my natural response is opposite of what the Bible says to do. I guess that is not surprising, I have found most of the things the Bible says to do are not my first response. I am by nature, sinful after all.
The Bible says, “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
As I read this this morning, I started to think, that is all great but what does it mean to be still. In my mind, I thought of it as being quiet. I am sure that it does help to quiet your mind to hear God, but that isn’t what this verse is referencing. The word ‘still’ is a translation of the Hebrew word rapa, meaning “to slacken, let down or cease.” In times of war, it denotes putting down your weapons. This phrase actually means to stop the crazy stuff you are doing and just stop and be still.
The word “know” in this case means to “acknowledge or be aware” in Hebrew. The Bible tells us to stop the crazy activity that we are doing to fix the situation, and acknowledge that He is God! God is all knowing, He is present everywhere, He is all powerful, holy, sovereign, faithful, and good. He knows what you are going through and He cares about all the details of your life. He also already knows how to fix it and He knows how to bring you through it.
Why is it the more messed up my life is, the faster I move….do I want to just get to the wrong place quicker? Really, what is the point? My natural response is actually not very logical when I remember who God is and how much He loves me.
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an everpresent help in trouble.” NIV
I don’t need to go into crazy busy mode when there is a problem. The reality is, it won’t be me to fix it. It will be God. He is my everpresent help in trouble! My first reaction should be to stop, go before the Lord and let God direct my steps. How nice it is to know that He will give direction and be my help in time of trouble!