Be Still and Know
Alicia Reese
May 24, 2022

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a

This past Sunday was the end of our program year. Usually, that means that there is some downtime, a break to come up for air. But this image is both literal and figurative for me at the moment. I just counted and I have 16 tabs open, 13 documents open (3 of which are still unnamed), and 4 open, mid-draft emails, not to mention a paper blanket of lists and post-its currently littering my desk, keeping it warm.
Be still and know that I am God.

My two younger, twin siblings are graduating from college, my older sister is in the process of moving, my newly retired mom has not stopped travelling, I have three sets of friends getting married this summer/fall which means showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties galore, gifts to buy, and dates to fit into the calendar and then remember.

Be still and know that I am God.

The weather is beautiful, it looks and feels like summer! I want to be outside, walking my dog, at the beach, exploring the city, traveling, spending time with loved ones. But even these wonderful things can add to feeling overwhelmed or create anxiety.

Be still and know that I am God.

COVID numbers, the situation in Ukraine, rising gun violence, racial hate crimes, pending Supreme Court decisions, these concerns could go on and on.

Be still and know that I am God.

It is in times like these, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, when my anxiety threatens to take over, I have to remember to breathe and use Psalm 46:10a as a sort of mantra…Be still and know that I am God. I will repeat it many times, taking deep breaths as I do so.
This little ritual is calming to me, it helps me to slow down, perhaps refocus on the tasks at hand. It reminds me that no matter how hard I try or wish, I cannot control everything, but I should give time and attention to the things I can control and let the other stuff go. It is a brief respite, where I remember my creator, give thanks and praise, and then can return to whatever is at hand, ready and willing to do what I am capable of, and give myself grace for the things I’m not.

Have you been feeling overwhelmed or anxious? What do you do in such situations?
What are some things you are looking forward to this summer?

Let’s Pray…
Creator God, help me to be still and remember You are God! In times of worry, anxiety, and fear, bring me closer to you. When I feel overwhelmed, help me to let go of the things I cannot control. And please don’t let any of this detract from the good and joyful parts of my life. Bless me with the ability to be truly present, the courage to act, the wisdom to know when to step back, and your capacity to love; to share such love with others as well as to love myself. Amen.