I am afraid to be still, because in the stillness I feel fear, I feel despair, I feel inadequate, I feel exposed, I feel alone.
NB. I talk about God in this one, y’all.
Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God.
I don’t know when I became afraid of silence. I used to be able to curl up with a good book, or The Good Books and read for hours, immersing myself in other worlds with only my own inner voice for company. I used to be able to sit and think about life, about the world, about God.
I don’t know when it started, but I am afraid to be alone with myself – with my thoughts. I haven’t read a book in . . . months? I speed through my daily prayers and daily scripture study as fast as possible. When I am alone, there is always something on in the background: television, or music. I am afraid to be still, because in the stillness I feel fear, I feel despair, I feel inadequate, I feel exposed, I feel alone.
I’m afraid that the memory of everything that has happened in the last six months will catch up to me and like a tidal wave crash over me and pull me out to sea. I can’t survive against that undertow.
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
I used to think that this scripture meant, “stop complaining, stop worrying, I am God. I have this covered.” But lately I have begun to wonder if it doesn’t mean, “I am found in the stillness. That is how you can really come to know who I AM.” What if my fear of stillness is keeping me from really coming to know Him?
Know that I am God.
I already know that He is God. I have not seen Him, but I feel that He is there. He answers my prayers. But I think that I sometimes forget that He is GOD.
In the stillness, the tidal wave of fear may crash over me and drag me out to sea. In the stillness, I may not be able to fight the undertow, but He is God. He walks on water. He calms tempests. He can pull me back to shore.
In the stillness, I may not be able to fight the feelings of despair about the turn my life has taken as the despair threatens to swallow me whole, but He is God. He saved Jonah from the belly of the whale that swallowed him. He will give me hope and save me from despair.
In the stillness, I may feel inadequate but he is God. He can take a few fishes and a few loaves of bread and feed an army. He will strengthen my weaknesses.
In the stillness, I may feel exposed, but He is God. He strengthens the arms of shepherd boys to slay giants. He parts seas. He will protect me.
In the stillness, I may feel isolated and alone, but He is God. He understands better than anyone isolation and loneliness. He will comfort me.
We have so many things demanding our attention and that makes it is easy to fill our lives so full that we never have to face ourselves in the stillness. But by doing so, we will not know Him. He is found in the stillness. We just have to have the faith to be still through the fear, and the inadequacy, and the loneliness in order to find Him. And when He pulls us back to shore and gives us hope and strengthens our weaknesses and protects us and comforts us, then we will truly know that He is God.