I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Now that we all are preparing for the New Year I wanted to share one of my favorite scripture verses and how I think it may help all of us in 2014.

Psalms  46:10 says, “Be still and know I am God.”

It’s a simple little verse that for me has had a big impact on my life and I am hoping that you can embrace it in a way that will change your life as well.

Our entire world is about pressure. Think about it, we’re under pressure to perform at work, to earn enough money to pay the bills, to raise the children properly, the keep up with the Jones as the saying goes, to be a good spouse, to be a good neighbor or community member, to be a good friend, to be a good student and get good grades, to take care of our health, etc….The list goes on and on. If you asked most people they would tell you they have extremely busy lives that keep them bouncing from one thing to the next and they are under constant pressure to meet their own or other people’s expectations.

I lived like that for a long time and I have to admit I kind of liked it! I’m one of those A-type personalities that enjoys being busy and having lots of things going at once. But it was killing me. I remember in college I was taking 22 credit hours of classes, learning the martial arts, writing for a college newspaper, and playing trumpet in a jazz quartet all at the same time. I did none of it well because I was spread so thin, but that’s what I thought you were supposed to do. Aren’t we taught that being busy equals success?

My first professional job after college was as a weekly newspaper editor. I averaged 70 hours a week, so I must have been successful because I was so busy! As my career went through all its changes the one thing that didn’t change was how much time I spent doing what I did. I was a workaholic, but I considered that a good thing – a badge of honor! I was respected by my peers not just because of the work I performed but because of my dedication to the company or mission!

Then I ran into Psalms 46:10.

There is only so much a person can take and when your bottle fills up and is about to overflow you must have a way to find a release from all the pressure you are under or you’ll explode.  That’s where I was when I read God’s word – Be still and know I am God!

Honestly, I had never considered being still and allowing God to envelop me in his care. That thought never really crossed my mind. I figured that in order to take care of myself I had to do something – add something to the already full agenda in my life that would take the pressure off, like find time to exercise, or read, or watch movies.  But that was not the answer. The answer was Psalm 46:10.

Jesus was a busy guy. If you read the Gospels you’ll see that He often was preaching to crowds of thousands of people who would follow Him wherever He went. Then you read that when He would finish teaching them He would retreat to a solitary place and pray to the Father. In other words, He would be still and know the Father.

I remember walking into our church sanctuary one day when nobody was there and sitting down in the front pew. I told God that I just needed to rest in His arms for a few minutes because I was physically and mentally exhausted from all the demands on my life. In that moment I finally understood what Psalms 46:10 meant. God covered me in a sense of peace I had not known before – just a sense of comfort and relaxation in that moment where everything in the world just stopped. It was one of those supernatural moments you get with God every once in a while. When I left the sanctuary I was calm, peaceful, and renewed, ready to jump back into the fight.

Here is what I learned from that moment that I think you can take to heart as well:

  • God wants to spend time with you
  • God wants to hear your needs
  • God wants to provide for your needs
  • God can’t answer your prayers when you’re talking – shut up and listen
  • God can’t renew you if you don’t submit to Him
  • God can provide the peace you’re looking for if you’ll just slow down and ask

I suspect that as you look forward into 2014 you’re already worrying about upcoming events and deadlines and are feeling the pressure of yet another year where you’ll be on a dead sprint. My advice for you is Psalms 46:10 – Be still and know He is God. Take time to do the most important thing you can do in your life and spend time with God who will reward you beyond your understanding.