What does it mean to be still. Psalm 23 - Part 1.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Psalm 46:10 ‘Be still and know that I am God’. (In fact, I love it so much I had it tattooed on the inside of my arm.)
But what does ‘Be still’ really mean?
The dictionary definition for ‘Still’ is -
1. Adjective - not moving or making a sound
2. Noun - deep silence and calm; stillness
3. Adverb - up to and including the present
I have been studying Jennifer Rothschild’s Psalm 23
‘The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me besides still waters u(or quiet waters)….
Quiet and Still. Are they they same? How different are they?
The dictionary definition for ‘Quiet’ is -
1. Adjective - making little or no noise
2. Verb - make or become silent, calm or still (there is that still word again!)
I realized that before I can even figure out what ‘still’ or ‘quiet’ really mean, I need to take a step back and find out what Shepherd means.
The dictionary definition for ‘Shepherd’ is -
1. Noun - A person who tends and rears sheep
2. Verb - guide or direct in a particular direction
The shepherd’s primary responsibility is the safety and welfare of his flock. He will guide them towards good food, keep a close look out for any danger, and rescue them when they stray. He keeps them safe. He knows the best fields, the best streams and he can see danger way before the sheep do. He keeps them calm so they don’t bolt and go astray.
‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want’ - He is taking care of my safety. He is guiding me, He has my best interest at heart. He will bring me back when I stray. He knows the best place for me to be.
’He leads me besides still waters’. I am led by my Shepherd - I don’t get there on my own. My propensity is to go go go. Do do do. Be be be. Whether it’s house stuff, craft stuff, social media, phone, instagram, facebook, mom stuff, wife stuff, friends…..for me - it’s constant motion and thinking. So much so in fact, that I have been having multiple upon multiple dreams at night - my mind does not rest (or be still) even in sleep.
(Fun fact - Sheep will not drink water if it is turbid or swift. They know intuitively that they still need water in order to drink). Still is calm.
So - what does ‘Be Still’ REALLY mean? Does it mean not moving? (Have any of you played ‘freeze tag’ as a kid? Or pretended to be mannequins?) Does it mean not talking? I can not be talking but my thinking can be really Loud.
Or is it a stillness from within. A quiet from within. A stillness that comes from trust. A quiet that is steeped in well being - knowing that the Lord has my back. He will guide me and care for me in times of trouble. I just need to….Be Still.
Where does my personal stillness come from and how do I get there? To quote Jennifer Rothschild - ‘I need to remember that He is God over all my problems and over all my pain. He is bigger than any mountain I face and stronger that any power I possess’. Do I know intuitively to be still? No, I need to be led. I need to learn to JUST BE.
The Shepherd leads and the sheep follow. He doesn’t throw me in the deep end. He doesn’t tell me to go on my own. He doesn’t point the way. He doesn’t drag me……He leads me. It’s ok to be a sheep.
I need to figure out where my own personal green pastures are and hang out there for awhile - until I learn to ‘Be Still’. What about you
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March 1, 2019