the choice to be still
“Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” (Exodus 14:13)
“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
“Stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes.” (1 Samuel 12:16)
“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7)
These are just a few of the verses I’ve memorized and gone back to over the last three years. One in fact, was our Virtue Bible study memory verse just a few weeks ago. So, once again, I’ve been meditating on the idea of being still. As I’ve shared before, this has been a recurring theme in my life.
As I studied Exodus 14 and the story of the parting of the Red Sea, I was reminded (again) that being still is not the same as doing nothing. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Being still is a deliberate act of the will.
It’s a choice. A choice to remain steadfast even in dire circumstances. And isn’t that what the Israelites were facing in Exodus 14? An army of their enemies was approaching from behind and only a vast sea in front of them—with no way out! (Or so they thought.)
They started to cry out and complain. In panic, they pointed their fingers at Moses and blamed him for what would surely be their death. But Moses responds with this command: “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” Then he gives this promise: “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”
In that moment, they had a choice to make. Would they choose to listen, be still and let the Lord fight on their behalf? Or would they keep complaining and airing their grievances and shaking their fists at Moses?
You see, being still isn’t easy. In fact, it pretty much goes against our human nature completely. And while I’m sure the Israelites still felt panic on the inside, they made the choice to listen and obey. And with their obedience came a blessing; God literally parted the Red Sea and gave them an escape route to walk through on dry land.
The same goes for us today; there’s a blessing that comes from choosing to be still. It may not be a literal parting of the sea before our eyes, but it may be God intervening on our behalf and creating a way where there was no way.
Ultimately, we have the promise of God’s overwhelming peace, knowing that He will always work His plan, in His time. We need only to be still.