Read Psalm 46:1-11
Most people would agree that a major annoyance we experience in life is speaking to someone who isn’t listening. All we have to do is read a person’s body language (lack of eye contact, fidgeting, not facing us) to understand that they aren’t interested in what we have to say. However, when we are the listener, it’s easy to exempt ourselves, assuming the other person won’t notice or mind if we aren’t truly listening. As I think about this scenario and imagine God as the speaker and myself as the listener, I can’t help but realize how often I exempt myself from listening to Him.
I wouldn’t describe the average person’s life as still, quiet, or noiseless. Rather, it seems as though terms like fast, moving, active, and noisy are a much better fit. In the past several weeks I’ve evaluated my own life in this area and I’m not proud to admit that lately, my life has reflected that of a fast, moving, active, and noisy one. This pace of life creates space for anxiety to move in. Thankfully, God has used the forced decrease in pace of life everywhere in this season to teach me the importance of being still, especially when it comes to listening to Him.
I encourage you to read Psalm 46 now. This chapter is an expression of confidence and trust in God even in a world of life-threatening circumstances. Verses 2 & 3 speak specifically about threats to the existence of Israel, God’s people. In these 2 verses, there are multiple words of action or noise such as fall, roar, and quake that are used to describe the turmoil God’s people face due to the threatening circumstances. Do you notice all the noise and action going on? In verse 10, God’s voice breaks through all the action and turmoil as He declares, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Stillness allows us to pay our full attention to God, and when our focus is on Him it is taken off our worries. When we don’t take time to be still and focus on God, we miss out on all that He is trying to tell us and we increase the space for anxiety to creep into our lives. As I move forward from this season of life, it would be a big mistake for me not to make some changes in the pace of my life. The unhealthy habit of living at such a fast pace is hard to break. So, only with God’s help and by His grace can I intentionally and consistently slow down and be still enough to focus solely on Him. I encourage you to evaluate the pace you are choosing to live at. Are you being still enough to pay your full attention to God and what He is trying to teach you during this season?