Monday, July 1, 2013

Be Still

The lady was walking down the hall of the hospital. As she passed the door to my room, she paused, smiled and stepped to the door and asked if she could come inside. I motioned for her to come in even though I was suffering great pains from hip replacement surgery the day before. 

She had a welcoming smile, a friendly voice, but I could tell something was wrong. She explained her mother-in-law, also a patient in the hospital, was near death. Her family had assembled to be with the elderly woman in her last hours on earth. 

The more my visitor had to say, I determined her sick mother-in-law was a Christian and was prepared to face death. It was also evident in the words of my visitor that the woman who was near death , had lived a life of Christian service, and taught her children and grandchildren well. So now, as death was closing in on her loved one, the lady managed a smile and explained she was just walking the hall looking to see other smiles and visit for a few moments. 

Our visit was cordial as we reflected on places we had lived, churches we had attended, and people we had known. While we talked I was realizing my pains were not bothering me for those few moments.  I knew there were others in this hospital who were hurting and suffering but I wondered if just a friendly smile and a few moments of conversation could be a good dose of medicine for all of us. 

I mentioned the daily blog to my visitor and she promised she would be reading these words, too.  It was after she had been gone a while a verse of Scripture came to mind. The verse is in Psalm 46 which starts with a description of God, mentioning his greatness. It gives us assurance that God is our refuge and strength. One verse is repeated in this Psalm, "The Lord Almighty is with us;  the God of Jacob is our fortress." 

So the tone is set in the Psalm that God is powerful, He is on our side, and He is willing to help us in our troubles. Then the verse which I brought to mind while visiting with this lady is verse 10, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Some would read that and get the idea that God wants us to cease all activity and not move a muscle. Closer examination of the Hebrew word gives us a much deeper meaning.  It carries the idea of release from our surroundings, events and circumstances so we can focus entirely on God. But even more than that, it means a surrender of everything we are, to experience who God is. 

When death is closing in on our loved ones, we should "Be still and know that I am God."  That's God asking us to turn the situation over to him. He is still God. He still loves and cares for us. He still knows our need even before we ask. 

Can you think of any circumstance which you can handle better than God?  Me either.  When we face problems, no matter how large or small, God asks us to surrender it to him.  After all, he will be exalted among the nations. He will be exalted in the earth.


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