Be Still and Know

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” Psalm 46:10 (NKJV).

A tourist and his wife, visiting a quaint little village, in a remote place of his home state, decided they would attend the local church on Sunday. This was their vacation time, a time to rest and relax; yet, they both agreed it would be a good thing to go to church together.

“Who knows, we might just meet someone there that we know,” the wife said to her husband as they were getting themselves dressed for the day.

“Don’t be silly, we know no one here in this community. Hey, do you think after church we could go and do a little shopping. I saw a quaint little tool shop that I would like to check out.” said the husband as he put on his shoes. “Sure!” the wife replied, however, she was thinking of a few other shops that she would like to visit.

Soon they were ready, looking much like the typical church goers, of their own church, in their own community. “Let’s go check out the local church, shall we?” The husband took his wife’s hand and out the door they went. It felt good to walk to church for a change. After all, this quaint little house of worship was just down the street from where they were staying.

Upon arrival at the church, they duly noted the sign upon the door. “Be still and know that I am God!”—in big, bold letters. No one could miss the message. An usher greeted them, just as the man turned to his wife, ready to say something. But the usher hushed them, raising his finger to his mouth, and whispering, “Sh…Be still…!” They walked inside quietly and cautiously.

They instantly noticed something was very different from their own church. There were no conversations taking place. There were no across the room greetings between friends. No laughter or play among the children. The place was packed with people of all ages. Yet not one word was being spoken. The husband and wife quickly found a place to sit, slipping quietly into the pew. As they sat, they just looked at one another, not really sure what to think of this new encounter.

Just then the preacher of the day greeted the congregation. “Please take this moment and be still in the presence of your God. Let Him show you who He is.” The husband, feeling a little unsettled in this quaint little church, almost got up and walked out of the building. But then he looked over a saw an old man, rising from his pew, bending the knee in front of the pew and he began to pray. The husband watched the old man with great interest. He was able to hear the words that the old man spoke out loud. “God, I am so very grateful to once again “be still” in Your presence. I love to meet You here. Would You show me something about Yourself today that I have never known before? I’d be mighty thankful Father; I’ll be quiet and listen.” The old man raised his bended knee, turned and sat down on the pew once more. The husband couldn’t draw his eyes away from the old man as he wondered what the old man expected God to reveal to him that day in church.

The music began, the congregation stood to sing. Thankfully the songs were hymns that the couple knew from their own church, so they joyfully sang along. But the husband still could not take his eyes off the old man. He sang with joy. He sang loudly with all the breath that he could get out of his lungs. He praised God in a way the husband had never seen before. He simply stared at the old man, wondering just what kind of relationship he had with God.

The preacher came to the pulpit, opened his Bible, and he began to preach his sermon. “How to know your God in the stillness!” was the title of his message. The husband only heard bits and pieces of the sermon, a few words and even fewer phrases. But the repetition of “Be still and know that I am God” kept his attention upon the old man. The husband just couldn’t believe the joy that this man had. He was intrigued by his worship of his God.

Soon the service ended. The congregation left the building the same way they had entered it. In silence. In meditation. In stillness before their God. The husband and his wife stayed seated, until the old man rose from the pew again. Thinking that he was ready to leave, the husband stood up and his wife followed his lead. But the old man… he didn’t leave the presence of his God.

The old man bent the knee once more in prayer. “God, what a delightful blessing it has been to be in Your house once more. Thank you for meeting me in the stillness. I know now just what You want me to do. Give me courage to do it well.”— is the prayer the husband overheard from the old man’s lips to the listening ears of his God.

Finally, the old man left the church and went outside into the bright sunshine of a wonderful day. The husband and wife followed. “Whew! Now we can talk!” said the husband to the wife. They both chuckled between themselves. “Come on,” said his wife, “I want to go shopping!”

The old man stopped them. “Please, may I have just a moment of your time? I know you are new here today. I felt you watching me throughout the service. And that’s okay.” he said with a little chuckle of his own. “Makes my job a little easier. God has a message for me to give to you. Will you hear it?”

The husband looks at his wife, shrugs his shoulders and says to the old man, “I guess so!” The old man smiles.

“God wants you to know that He knows just how busy you are. So many things to do in any given day. God thanks you for coming to church today but He also knows that you really didn’t learn anything about Him today. Your mind was everywhere except on Him. “Be still” means that we are to be still, quiet, calm even, in the very presence of God. “And know that I am God” means that God has many things to tell you, to show you, to help you learn about who He is. But sir, with all of God’s love, He wants you to know that you will never truly know your God until you decide that you want to be still in His presence.” And with that the old man turned and walked away.

The husband and wife just stood there, for what seemed like a really long time. Not sure what to think. No words to share with one another. Just stunned by the message and the messenger. After a few moments of silence, the husband turned and quickly went back into the church building. He quietly sat down on a pew. He looked up at the cross on the wall in the front of the building. He said nothing to his bewildered wife who now sat beside him. Tears began to flow down his cheeks.

Following the example of the old man, he rose from his seat, bent the knee in front of the pew and prayed to God who was right next to him listening. “God, if You know who I am then You will know I do not like to be still. It’s hard for me to do. But God, this old man, in this quaint little church, showed me something that I want in my own life. Stillness. If I really want to know my God, then I have to learn to be still long enough for You to talk to me. I want to be still and know that You, God, are my God!”

After a very long period of silence, and prayerful conversation with his God, the husband rose from his pew. Taking the hand of his wife, they walked toward the door, and stepped out into the sunlight.

“Do you remember Mrs. this morning when we were talking about visiting this quaint little church? You said, ‘Who knows, we might just meet someone there that we know.’ Do you remember saying that?

“Yes, but I didn’t see anyone I knew, ” his wife replied.

Her husband stopped and turned to face his wife. “I did!” he said as the biggest smile spread across his face. “I met God in the stillness! And He showed me who He was in the old man I was watching during church today!”

Dear readers, we don’t have to go to a quaint little village church in another town to meet our God. We simply have to choose to be still right where we are. We can choose to calm our heart and soul in His very presence—for where we are, our God is there too. We can choose to be quiet long enough to hear His voice as He speaks to our heart. “Be still and know that I am God!” He will meet us in the stillness, and we will know our God!

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