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  • Writer's pictureJanean Tinsley

Finding The Stillness

It’s Sunday. It’s beautiful today. 65 degrees, sunny, a gentle breeze with trees budding and flowers blooming. The birds are singing and I hear children laughing in the distance. I love Sundays.

I used to find Sundays to be taxing. Not bad. Just exhausting. I wouldn’t sleep much the night before because I would go over and over the sermon. I’d lay in my bed playing out every part of the next morning’s service, assuring myself it was perfect. That part was pride. But I always convinced myself it wasn’t. But I digress.

Sundays are different for me now. I’m a bit lost but also a bit found. Lost because I don’t have a church home, no church family to call my own anymore. Friends I have. Friends who are deeply devoted to Christ. But not a church family. It’s different for sure. But I’m a bit found because I’ve learned to be still again.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. — Psalm 46

As I sit in the midst of creation today, I see the work of God all around me and I know it’s okay to be still. But there are so many who are far from “still.” Oh how they believe they “do all the work” without God. They believe they can survive and thrive by the sweat of their own brow.

The truth is we do have to be responsible for the life God gave us even in the uncertainties of living in a world of sin. But that doesn’t replace our need for absolute reliance upon God (James 4:13-17).

We are finite, and God is infinite.

Because of that, we need to find peace in the stillness, peace in relaxing, peace in serenity.

Even as I write that “peace in serenity”, I chuckle. It’s really really hard to do, particularly when you’re lost in the midst of a trying time. The past three weeks I have attended virtual church. I’ve been worshipping with a different denomination. My heart longs to be a part of this place because I know God is welcome there. And yet I have fear. I’m a woman, called and ordained by God. I do not doubt my calling for a moment. In fact, I’m more certain than ever before that I’m called by God to be his servant. But I fear that I may not be accepted in this place. Perhaps misunderstood. And then all these contradictions collide within my soul. At that moment I hear, “Be still.”

Psalm 46:10 encourages us to reflect on what God can do in the face of what we are unable to do. And could there be a better word of hope during this uncertain time than that?

Friends, stillness ought to be embraced in spite of the shaking mountains and agitated waters. This stillness does not come from a lack of uncertainties. It comes because of an unshakable reliance upon God and the promise of the eternal gift of salvation.

So if you feel like your world is crumbling around you, the voice from God is telling you quite plainly: don’t flinch in faith. Be still—not because of a self-made confidence, not because you are the most composed person in the face of disaster, not because “you’ve seen it all.”

Be still because of what you know about God.

“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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