Psalms 46 tells us that God is our refuge and strength, our help in time of trouble. God presides over the nations. God is exalted in the earth! Do not fear though mountains tremble and the earth should change! We should not fear even if all the world dissolves into chaos. These words give us comfort but often we have trouble keeping them in mind. We love the words but can we get our mind around their meaning during our daily journey?
Too often we are tense, frazzled with daily chores, and the stress at work. We are worn out with caring for others and often feel we have reached our limit of doing. We worry about national issues, family problems, issues in the community, issues in the church, and personal and financial difficulties. Urgency is coming at us from all directions. Do more— we are constantly urged. Then we feel the guilt and inadequacy. “Am I doing enough? How can I do more?” we ask ourselves. “Why are things not working? Why am I feeling helpless?” When we feel the heavy weight of our burdens, how do we use the psalmist’s words to help?
Psalm 46:10 instructs, “Be still and know that I am God.” Stop with what you are doing. Be still. For a moment do nothing. Take time to contemplate the awesome greatness of God. Through all kinds of national upheavals, chaos, and change, God has protected his people. He will not change.
We should change our thoughts if we are troubled, stressed, doubtful, or fearful. We must let go of many things that trouble us. Letting go is so freeing. Most of the burdens we carry are just unnecessary weights we have placed on ourselves. Getting rid of these weights should be our goal. Only two things in this world are worthy of our constant, dedicated attention. The first is our relationship with God. Know that He is God. Learn to know that you or I cannot change the things He has set in place. Striving to do so will only wear us out. Seek to know what His will is. Then follow on that path and do not look back, or to either side. Let the rest go. You will feel immense freedom. It is not easy, but it is freeing. You’ll know what feels right. You’ll know which direction you should take and what you must do everyday to get to your destination. Don’t worry about the non-essentials.
The second is your relationship to your family and friends. Here is where we often feel so much stress, pain, and worry. How can we make things work? How does Psalms 46 apply to our daily lives? If we truly realize God is in control, we lose the desire to control others. In fact, we start to see we cannot control them. We must treat them as God treats us. God doesn’t force us to do His will. He motivates us by love. Love is the greatest motivator in existence. Also, He allows us to suffer the consequences of our own rebellious actions.
So how does one do this with family? Start by treating your spouse, children, and other important people in your life with utmost respect and courtesy. Why would anyone treat the people with whom they share a life, with less respect than they would treat a co-worker, casual acquaintance, or even a stranger? Isn’t it foolish to extend your best behavior to those you hardly know and treat your most precious people badly? It doesn’t make any sense. Your spouse, children, and the other important people who surround you deserve your common courtesy and best behavior. If life is miserable, could it be because family members are not respecting each other? If this describes your family, start to change it immediately. It will be the best decision you’ve made in a long time.
Children will grow up. They will make decisions. The decisions they make will likely be influenced by their parents’ actions— like it or not. If the time a woman spends at her job is more important to her than the time she spends with her family, she is teaching her children to prioritize a job over the family. This is so obvious, but it escapes so many of us who are caught up in our race to keep ahead financially. Think about it. What are your children learning? Are they learning to trust God even if the world is changing?
We must to throw out of our lives all the things that are not lasting. Every physical thing in this world will pass away. The psalmist eloquently says God makes nations rise and fall. He protects His people. How foolish we are if we allow trivial things to keep us from His protective power! Be still and know that He is God.