September 30, 2020

By Dr. Oliver Wagner
“Be still, and know that I am God!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Psalm 46:10-11
It was one of those awkward moments in life. The zoom call meeting had started and the chairman of the board called upon me to offer the morning devotion and opening prayer as a dozen board members looked on. Oops! Had I missed an email or a text? I wasn’t prepared in any way. What to do? Have you been there before? Called but unprepared! Fortunately, a bible was near. I grabbed it and turned to the first passage that came to mind: Psalm 46. I know that chapter of the bible because I like how it ends…with the words quoted above. I also know that if you turn to the middle of the bible you’ll usually open to the Psalms.

I read Psalm 46 slowly and repeated that last phrase twice. Then I prayed. “That was just what we needed to hear” someone said in response. Amen! It’s not my message, but God’s, and it’s a message we always need. Especially in these challenging days, it is a gentle reminder and invitation to make an effort to stop all you are doing and be still and know that you aren’t God and neither is another other person…God is God.  I was driving this week and saw a campaign poster that read “Jesus 2020.” Good one! Amid all of the changes and hardships and uncertainties of the day, though it seems like mountains are falling into the sea and wars and troubles rage, we go to God for a protective shelter. The world’s a dangerous place. In God we find comfort, help, strength, joy and renewal.

Be still, APC friends, be still. And in that quiet stillness, let your mind and heart be present to the God who is love unfailing, strength all-powerful, forgiveness undeserving and hope everlasting. I’m not much of a beach bum, but those who are love to sit in the sunshine and “soak it in.” While my dermatologist cautions me against doing that, I encourage you to “soak up the Son whose rays of light are illuminating and life-giving.” Christ’s love is the protection and shelter we need, so be still in God’s presence. Doing so is preparation for all of the challenges, opportunities and surprises that lie ahead.
Jesus Christ, light of the world, shine upon me in the quiet of these precious moments. Bless me with your love, grace and truth that I may live this day in peace with thanks and praise. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009