Be Still

Be still and know

I’m up early. 

The house is full – college kids who are getting much-needed rest during spring break, a son who has flown in to help me with a film project, a friend from days long ago in Pakistan. We calculated that we haven’t seen each other for 26 years.

That’s a lot of years.

I curl up on the couch in my safety position – hands cupped around a hot cup of coffee.

I think about the Malaysian plane — still not found after all these days. A plane that has people from many nations trying to piece together a puzzle. What happened when the last ping was identified? Where did the plane go? More importantly – why?

He says “Be still and know that I am God.

I think about Syria – about kids who don’t have a clue what it’s like to curl up in their ‘safety’ positions. Safety is a thing of the past, a distant memory. Safety is a longing for the future. Our new Syrian friends have just given birth to a baby girl. If a baby is “God’s opinion that the world should go on” then surely she is hope. Hope for a future where they can return to their home in Damascus.

He says “Be still and know that I am God.

I think about my friend who flies out today – heading to be with a mom newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Her heart is heavy, her fears real.

He says “Be still and know that I am God.

I think about Djibouti – how I’ve ended up with a friend who lives there. A friend who daily lives out her faith, her calling in a place that sometimes feels like home — and sometimes does not.

He says “Be still and know that I am God.

I think about my parents – thankful that their deep love for God is lived so faithfully. That I have a heritage that cannot be shaken.

He says “Be still and know that I am God.

I think about my own kids – each with their particular joys, each with their current sorrows. And our family – always in process, ever needing to forgive and learn to love well.

So I’m up early. And the word of God is by my side. I know that within this book are words that live. I know that within this book is the Living Word. A Word that is strong enough to still my thoughts, big enough to comfort my soul.

A plane is still missing. Syria still has war. My friend’s mom still has breast cancer. But my heart is stilled and quieted. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to be still and know that he is God.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

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20 thoughts on “Be Still

  1. You said it perfectly. And Jesus is enough. I have heard this so many times before, but in the reality of this imperfect, broken world with many a sorrow and confusion, somehow it is the only thing that gives comfort. Your message helped me to find the words I will share with a old friend and sister in the Lord who also became one of my patients, and what better words than the Living Word. Yes, “Be still and KNOW that I am God” and Jesus is enough in our pain, in our confusion and worry. Helped me to also put a hopeful aspect to the naming ceremony celebrated with a Sudanese family with their new baby, and yet not forget those weeping, clinging to their family in Syria, and to the families who lack sleep praying, hoping and wondering where the Malaysian plane is right now and to the quiet sorrow another may have…Jesus is enough. Let us be still, quiet and KNOW.


  2. As I flew from Dubai to Boston on Saturday, I walked the cabin of that 777, looking at the faces of my fellow passengers, many asleep in the usual awkward way we sleep on long haul flights, in the back of the plane. And I choked up. All these people, people like many I know and love. With families and friends and dreams and lives to lead. What must it have been like to be on that MAS flight? Did they cling together, those strangers? Did they pray or cry or scream in fear? Did they know what was happening? As I walked the aisle, I prayed for them, for their families, for answers and closure, and I prayed for my own fellow passengers, that they would have safety and God’s protection, all the way to their final destinations. It was a very emotional experience, 35,000 feet in the air, being held aloft by the laws of physics and, I firmly believe, the angels around us.


    1. Stacy – I have thought the exact same thing about people on the flight. How did they comfort children. Did they reach out to each other? Did they feel God’s presence….thanks so much for this. It echoes so much of what I feel/think.


      1. Writing it out for you here helped me process what I was feeling, Marilyn. So I thank you for that. I decided to share on one of my recent blog posts and so many commenters feel the same. We just can’t imagine the horror of going through that. A huge part of me really hopes they didn’t know.


    2. Our 17 year old prayed that there would be people of faith on the flight that could pray each other through it…! That’s still my prayer….


    1. My heart hurt when I read this. I can’t even imagine the family’s confusion, worry, anger….thanks for sharing. Personalizing tragedies are the best way to increase my empathy quotient.


  3. I think about my friend Jill who was pushed out of her job. He says, Be Still. I think about Wendy who’s childhood is rising up to meet her in painful ways. He says, Be Still. I think about friends recently moved here from the Middle East with two teenage daughters. Their lives are transitional and in the settling there is pain and sadness; chaos and confusion. He says, Be still. I think about a friend grumpy at church, another afraid to step out, and yet another who’s mother is acting like a five year old. He says, Be Still. And to my own heart, trying to juggle the sadness and burdens of my friends…even there he whispers that stillness and rest are available.
    Thank you Marilyn.


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