Be Still and know
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
You may be familiar with this well-known verse. If so, chances are that you’ve seen it on a meme or coffee mug or T-shirt. It’s that kind of popular—which is reason enough not to choose it for the name of your blog, right? After all, blog titles are supposed to be unique. So why did I choose a phrase from a popular Bible verse?
Well, Psalm 46:10 is a verse I’ve known most of my life, but it came to life for me in a powerful way one day when I experienced a guided meditation that had me prayerfully reflect on the verse in four phrasings, like this:
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know.
After meditating on each phrasing, I was to consider which one resonated most strongly with me. Now, this is the kind of exercise where you’re likely to respond differently on any given day, depending on what’s going on in your life and heart.
Let’s say that one day things aren’t going as you planned, and you’re feeling discouraged and defeated. On that day you might need the reminder that God is still in control and very much with you despite the uncertainty you’re experiencing: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Another day you’re running from one thing to another, frantically trying to cram it all in and not really being present or enjoying any of it. On that day “Be still” might speak volumes to your soul, encouraging you to slow down and breathe.
On yet another day you’re tired and worn out—whether from good things or difficult things—and you just need permission to simply “Be.” To be your true self and sit in God’s presence.
Well, on this day none of those phrasings resonated strongly with me. Instead, it was the second phrase, “Be still and know,” that arrested my attention. I was surprised by this—and even a little disappointed, if I’m honest—because all of the other statements are more definitive. This one seemed incomplete. “Be still and know what?” I asked. As I sat in silence, patiently listening, the answer came quietly as a whisper: “Whatever you need to know.”
In that moment I knew this was the voice of God, reassuring me once again with a profound message. You see, for much of my life I was one to question and second-guess, and this tendency extended to my spiritual life as well. Was that really God? Could that have been God speaking, or was it just me? How can I know for sure that I’m hearing God? And on and on. (Have you ever had thoughts like that?) Even after knowing that I had heard from God, often I would allow uncertainty to slowly creep back in again.
It wasn’t that I lacked faith in God; I lacked faith in my own ability to unequivocally hear God, which contributed to an underlying sense of unrest in my soul. I believed that the Holy Spirit lives in me, yet at times I struggled to fully trust that I was hearing God’s voice clearly.
It wasn't that I lacked faith in God; I lacked faith in my own ability to unequivocally hear God.
Then a number of years ago God began to do a healing work in me, teaching me that I could trust and rely on his loving, indwelling presence and voice. Through a deeper understanding of God's unconditional love for me and the contemplative practices of stillness and silence, I discovered a new way of relating with God, experiencing his presence, and resting in him—which translated to confidence in hearing his voice.
So, on that day when “Be still and know” struck me and God whispered that the knowing was whatever I might need to know in that moment, I realized that God was assuring me once again of my ability to hear his voice. He was reminding me that, most often, it is when we slow down, silence the noise, and listen that we can hear what he wants us to know—what we need to hear. If we will get still and quiet, we can trust that the God who loves us and dwells within us will speak; and we can learn to trust that voice. The Quakers have long observed this practice, sitting quietly in a manner often referred to as "waiting expectantly" as they make room for the Holy Spirit to speak.
If we will get still and quiet, we can trust that the God who loves us and dwells within us will speak.
I believe that God’s invitation is always for us to “Be still and know…” And I believe that whatever God might want you to know on any given day, it always begins with three things: Know that God is with you. Know that God loves you (just as you are--without doing anything). Know that God is speaking. Then…just listen. It's so simple and yet so profound.
So, that is why I have named this blog "Be Still and Know," and it's why I have those four words across one wall of the room where I meet with others for spiritual direction. God is always speaking if only we will be still and know.
In this noisy, busy world of ours, I think many of us need this encouraging reminder—whether we're struggling to hear God's voice or we've been listening to him confidently for many years. My hope with this blog is to create a community where we can be still, listen, and share together, encouraging one another on the journey of faith. I hope you'll join me and contribute your own words of encouragement through the comments. This space is not about having or sharing "answers" but offering companionship and loving support through insights and experiences that have proven meaningful and helpful on the journey. Because regardless of how long we've been walking and talking with God, we all need encouragement along the way.
I'm so grateful to be on the journey with you!
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Hi, I'm Sally!
I'm passionate about connecting with God and connecting with people, offering spiritual encouragement and companionship. I'm so grateful to be on the journey with you as we walk with God together.