For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. —Psalm 62:1-2, ESV
I have reached multiple low points at multiple stages of life. None ever feels as low as whichever one I am in at the moment. Consistently, in my despair, God whispers again and again to me, “Be still.”
At a particularly low, low time, He reminded me from Psalm 20:7 and Isaiah 31:1 that I can not put my trust in my 21st-century version of horses and chariots. I tend toward putting my hope in such things all the time. These are the things that I think I can manipulate to bring resolution to whatever issue over which I am struggling.
What can I do to fix my situation? And certainly, we are not to lay passively in struggle or trial, allowing ourselves to be run over unwisely.
If we are sick, we call the doctor. If we are sinned against, we confront the sinner. Yet regularly, my attempts at wise response in crisis fail to resolve my situation in the way I fully desire.
I run out of things to try, sit staring morosely out of the window and start to hear the still, small voice of God saying, “Rest, wait and be still. Don't trust earthly options to ultimately solve your problems. I am God. I am sovereign. I have not left you as an orphan. I have a plan that I will bring about.”
In stressful situations, our human fight-or-flight tendency wars with the repeated exhortation from Scripture to be still and trust God. Over and over again, I feel the need to do something. What should I do?
Thankfully, I often don't know how to resolve my situation. At first that feels hopeless—I guess I'll just sit on the floor in despair unable to change. Then at some point, in faith, it transforms—I guess I'll just sit on the floor waiting on God to change things, who regularly instructs me in His Word to do just that. And that place of waiting, when I'm personally out of options to fix myself or my situation, is exactly the place that God has brought me so that He, in His time, can fix me and my situation.
The 21st-century version of horses and chariots are anemic resources for my struggles. Horses and chariots are easily thwarted by Satan. But God is not. He's not anemic. And He is not defeated by Satan. And He does show up. All the time. He shows up in big and small ways. He meets us in those moments of defeated silence, and He moves us from despair to strong hope in Him, His Word and His shurch. Whatever long-term issue you are struggling with now, be still and know that He is God (Ps. 46:10).
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! —Psalm 37:7
Adapted from Wendy Alsup's blog, theologyforwomen.org. Wendy has authored three books, including By His Wounds You are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman's Identity. She is also a wife, mom and college math teacher.