As Pharaoh and his chariot army moved closer, Moses said to the Israelites in Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Being still is the hardest thing in the world. We all have the jitters. We twitch our feet, drum our fingers, bite our nails, and fidget with papers. Uncomfortable in the car alone, we turn on the radio for background noise. When the precious opportunity to get quiet presents itself, we hear what author Stephen Pressfield calls “The Resistance.” It’s the opposing voice pulling us away from activities that are healthy and productive. The resistance says things like, “You’re wasting time. You’re lazy. You have more important things to do like organize the kitchen drawers.” Being still is much harder than being busy. Try it and watch your brain throw a temper tantrum. The next time the resistance speaks, let’s borrow this line from Moses, “As for you. Keep your mouth shut. I only need to be still.”
Our kids attend a kindergarten through 8th-grade academy, close to our house. On sunny days we enjoy walking together. Separating our neighborhood from the school is a large, busy, four-lane intersection. Stationed on both sides are friendly crossing guards equipped with stop signs, bright green vests, shiny badges, khaki shorts, and black whistles. As my wife and I were walking back one morning, we stood waiting to cross back over. When the traffic lights turned red, a mini van pulled about three feet into the crosswalk area. One mom, jacked up on caffeine, exclaimed, “Look at the car in our crosswalk!” Asserting herself, she pushed past the crossing guard, and trotted into the intersection. Knocking on the driver’s window, she said with exaggerated hand motions and clenched teeth, “You’re in the crosswalk! Back up!” Shocked, the compliant driver put the car in reverse, hit the accelerator, and plowed into the new Mercedes Benz behind her.
Whenever we run out it anger and try to fix it ourselves, we end up creating a wreck. Instead of rushing and reacting, God is calling us to be still. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in all the earth.” To see God exalted, we don’t have to get busy. We have to get quiet. This isn’t our fight. Our victory is not won by striving but in waiting. Isaiah 40:31 says, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (ESV)
Try it now. Take a deep breath. Give your worries, or your particular battle, to the Lord. Quiet yourself and wait on him. God will make a way where there seems to be no way.