Every time a trial comes to me or my family, I think of the words from the Bible in Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God,” and I am often comforted. Sometimes, though, I wonder just what it means to be still and what exactly I need to do to make that happen.
When we face difficulties in our life that would make it seem as if we are on a ship being tossed upon a stormy sea, how exactly can we be still and a strength to our family while a storm rages around us? As I looked up the definition of still in the online Merriam Webster Dictionary, not only was I enlightened when I learned the definition for still, but learned very valuable lessons from its synonyms as well.
Here are ten words and their definitions that can teach us how to be still in the times of a storm and recognize the power of God.
Still: free from noise or turbulence; untroubled
When we are free from outside noise or turbulence, we are able to hear the still small voice of God’s Spirit as he comes to comfort and guide us through our trials. Some of the noise we experience that could be blocking our ability to feel God’s presence is our own worry. When we learn to change our thoughts from negative to positive, we are more able to feel God’s love because we are in harmony with him. The noise and turbulence is replaced by a sweet melody of peace.
Calm: a period or condition of freedom from storms; a state of tranquility
To be calm does not mean that the storm is no longer all around you, it means that the storm is no longer within you. The storms may still rage, but you are free from the effects of them. They no longer trouble you because you know in whom you have trusted. You are in a place where you no longer fear.
Hushed: to put at rest; mollify-to soothe in temper or disposition
Often times, when trials come, we tend to get angry with God and cry out in complaint. When we do this, we lessen our ability to feel the Spirit, because we leave no room in our hearts for the Spirit to dwell. God cannot dwell in a heart that is full of anger. It is when we learn to put at rest our complaints and cast our burdens on the Lord, to hush our cries and wait upon him, that we will find solace. He will bind our broken hearts.
Peaceful: untroubled by conflict; devoid of violence or force
Sometimes when difficulties arise, we allow the anger and frustrations from those trials to push us into violence, or we try to force our will upon the Lord. Neither one of these choices will bring us peace. When conflicts come and we are untroubled by them because of our faith in God, only then can we know peace.
Placid: serenely free of interruption or disturbance
We can learn to be still as we pray, read scripture, go for a walk, meditate or give ourselves time to ponder free from interruption or disturbance. This not only allows us to communicate with our Heavenly Father, it allows our Heavenly Father to communicate with us.
Restful: marked by, affording, or suggesting rest and repose; being at rest
Often times, the busyness of life makes it impossible for us to truly hear what God is trying to tell us. It is when we slow down and allow ourselves the opportunity to rest that our mind and heart can focus on those things that are of the greatest importance. God wants to talk to us, but we have to be ready and available to listen.
Serene: shining bright and steady
While reading with my children during home-school, I learned that the sun does not rise and the sun does not set. It is an illusion. Instead, the Sun stays still, steady and bright, and as the Earth turns to face the sun, that is when the morning comes. The darkness of night comes when the Earth turns away. It is the same with us. In our trials, when we turn to face the Son, who is steady and bright, just like the Earth, we are filled with light. If instead we choose to turn away from him, the darkness of night will surely come. Choose to face the light.
Quiet: gentle, easy going, i.e. quiet nature
When we are gentle and easygoing, we are more able to hear God’s commands. He gently persuades us to love him and serve others. We are more able to ease our own troubles, and we will carry God’s spirit within us, which will aid us in easing the burdens of others.
Stilly: in a calm manner
When we approach life, and our trials, in a calm manner, we are more able to see the bigger picture and outline a plan of recovery. Not only does it allow us to have a clear mind, but it allows us to help calm the fears of those around us.
Tranquil: free from agitation of mind or spirit
When our mind and spirit are still, our whole body is at peace. We are able to see things with a clear mind, feel things with a pure heart and hear the voice of our Heavenly Father with ears that are open and in tune with his spirit. We will know God because we will be one with him.
“Be still and know that I am God,” is not just a saying, it is a state of being. It is the ability to know God well enough to trust in his abilities to rescue you. As we learn to be still and trust in God, we come to know and understand that we are God’s children. We are never alone, never unaided and never forgotten. He will come to us. All it takes is for us to be still.