To be still.


As a teenager in Luella Texas I would sometimes go to Grandpa’s house to help him with his work. Usually I was full of energy wanting to impress Grandpa with my willingness to do any task he needed. He lived on five acres, not a large property by comparison of some neighbors but large enough to have an endless supply of things to do. As I pulled in the driveway, either by bicycle or car, Grandpa would be sitting on the porch waiting for me. I would walk over to him ready for my assignment and without fail he would say “sit down boy and have a glass of tea.” Politely I would accept his offer, all the while anxious to get started on that day’s task. After several minutes of chat and iced tea we would get started on the work. At lunch time he would say “Mamas got us some food ready, let’s go eat”.  It seemed to me that lunch always took longer than necessary. I do not recall any conversation about work the days work when we were having a meal. Mostly we talked about school, family, and life in general. Whatever the work was for the day it always got done just in time for me to go home. Grandpa knew what he wanted accomplished and how long it would take. He did not need me to fret about it.

As I reflect back on that time in my life it is easy to see that Grandpa did not need my help with his work. In fact he was such a well-respected man in the community that he could easily have dozens of skilled men taking care of his property at no cost. Grandpa was not interested in my help; he was interested in my companionship. He was also interested in guiding me to be a man of respectable character.

A passage that brings comfort to many in times of trouble is; Psalm 46:10-11 (NIV) 10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Many places in scripture encourage us to place our trust in God. We are encouraged to seek Him and not lean on our own understanding. To trust God requires that we put aside our own agenda and follow His leading. With infinitely more wisdom than any man God leads us with perfect timing if we allow. He knows when to give us rest from our work and cares about our present and future well-being.

It is difficult for most people to be still. God wants our fellowship not just our activity. It is almost as if God is saying “Sit down and be with me before the day gets started. I know what needs to be done and it will be done in my time”.  It is clear in scripture that what God wants is for us to enjoy his companionship before, during, and after the work He has for us. God does not need us to accomplish His work; to serve Him is a gift we are given in this life. We can find both comfort and direction by pausing from our busyness long enough to connect with the Lord on a personal level.

To be still is no easy job. We are confronted constantly by distractions, fears, responsibilities, and personal desires grappling for our attention. Most likely in the short time it took to read this post a few thoughts entered your mind of things to be done. It will be a challenge for you to stop for a few minutes and just be still, thank God for His love and just be in His presence. If you can do that you have just accomplished the most important task of the day.

Rev. Burt Schwab

About burtschwab

I currently live in Iowa, USA. I serve as an assisting pastor of a unique small church. My goals are to simply live life as a journey and embrace each day. I am married to a wife with similar passions and that makes me a blessed man.
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