Written by Madeline Twooney
Thought of the day:
When faced with adversity, l will be still and rest in God’s presence, knowing that He is in control.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 (NRSV)
One of my favorite experiences in church is Praise and Worship at the beginning of each service. Our church worship team plays contemporary songs with concert flair, complete with visual effects and loud beats, which enhances my worship experience. I love it!
Last week, the worship team played “Be still” by Hillsong Worship. In the past, l found the song encouraging and the lyrics poignant, but l didn’t ruminate past these initial impressions. However, on this day, something shifted inside of me as soon as the first words of the song reached my ears:
“Be still and know
That the Lord is in control
Be still my soul
Stand and watch as giants fall”
These past few months have been extremely difficult for me healthwise. I have experienced a severe relapse in my convalscence from burnout and depression that has left me feeling emotionally drained, physically weak, and spiritually vulnerable to lies and accusations from the enemy about who l am in Christ.
When l am feeling particularly morose, l question whether l will ever travel again to distant countries, take part in social interactions, or even be able to laugh out loud again – activities which require the physical and mental vitality that l haven’t possessed in years. Sometimes, l get really frightened that l will always be watching others enjoy their lives, while l waste away behind an invisible mental barrier of depression, fatigue, and loneliness.
And yet, when l heard the words of this beautiful song, l felt like God was telling me to stop what l was doing – to stop feeling melancholy and afraid – and just be still in His presence.
“I won’t be afraid
If You are here
You silence all my fear”
God assured me that He sees my situation, and He is working in it. He reminded me that when l had faced adversity in the past, He had been there to support and guide me. Every time, He had brought me out of the valley.
God had been in control then, and He was in control now. He is the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow: I did not need to be afraid.
Hearing this message in the heightened atmosphere of corporate worship instantly comforted me. I felt like the doubts and fears that had slithered into my head were silenced by God’s reassurance of His love. Out of nowhere, I had a sudden surge of hope that everything would work out for the best. It was an unfamiliar sensation to experience – and yet, it felt comforting.
Later that day, l spent some quiet time with God and played “Be Still” again. For the first time in a long while, l actually felt the stillness of being in His presence. Finally, I could rest.
“Surely love and mercy
Your peace and kindness
Will follow me
Will follow me”
I learned an important lesson last Sunday: I need not search for God’s love, mercy, and kindness, for it is always within my reach – in fact, it follows me. It is a gift that God gives me, together with His peace, which transcends all understanding.
All l need to do is stop, be still, and rest in the Lord.
He will take care of the rest.
Loving Father, thank you that we can find true rest in the stillness of Your presence. When troubles overwhelm us or we feel doubtful and afraid, help us to remember that You are in control. You will not fail us, nor forsake us. Amen.
If you need to rest in the stillness of God’s presence today, spend time with Him in prayer. Ask God to show you how you can lay all your problems and your busy schedule aside and just rest in the love, mercy, and kindness of His presence, where you will find peace.