Be still, then, and know that I am God… (Psalm 46:11a).
Yesterday, the devotional publication Forward Day by Day‘s entry was based on Psalm 37:1,7 which reads, “Do not fret yourself….. Be still before the Lord.” The writer reminds us that when we do fret over things, we really accomplish nothing more than indulge in our false sense of self. When we fret we become self centered. Our faith diminishes, because we base the outcome on our ability to control something. The more we try to control, the more out of control we become.
The very familiar words I used to begin this blog post from Psalm 46:11a are found in a poem that sounds very much like everything is in chaos. It begins with talking about God being our refuge and strength in time of trouble, mountains being toppled, waters raging and foaming and later on moves to kingdoms being shaken. It seems to be both a Psalm of exaltation and facing the realities of life around those who wrote it. It appears to me, and perhaps it will to you too, that the words I quoted for this post come in the midst of all the turmoil to suggest not so much a stillness of the world around us, but a stillness of ourselves in the presence of God in spite of chaos. In these words, is a word from God to know God from within the depth of ourselves so that whatever else may be going on, we are still and maintain our confidence in the power and presence of God.
It certainly seems that this stillness must have been in Jesus as He endured the reality of His passion and death. Jesus experienced the depth of human rejection, betrayal by a good friend and the total surrendering of even His relationship with God to the point of His death. Yet, He was never completely separate from God, as He was the Word of God in human form. In spite of all that went on around Him, Jesus clung to God by faith in obedience out of love. Though the world around Him and about Him fell apart; Jesus remained still in the presence of God trusting that no matter what He had to face, God was still with him.
May God help us this Lent to spend some time being still in silence and solitude. May we have the faith and trust that Jesus had, and become a still and peaceful light of God’s presence in the chaotic world around us.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB