Why is it so hard to be still?
Even when I can make my body sit still, my mind is racing with thoughts of what needs to be done next, appointments I need to schedule, or a problem I need to solve. Being still involves a calmness of the mind as much as it does a motionless body.
We are told in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
I heard the hymn “Be Still, My Soul” again recently, and let myself really read the words – they are so rich in meaning! I’ve highlighted those that especially spoke to me in this season.
“Be Still, My Soul” by Catharina von Schlegel
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
I’m planning to take the words of this hymn and think on them again today. Let’s try to find at least a few minutes in which we can be still before our God.
Elizabeth Spencer says
Love this, Tracey! The truth, the verse, the hymn. I also love that one translation of the original Hebrew for "be still" is "let go." I believe it is the idea of unclenching our fists…of opening our hands and releasing to God that which we are trying to clutch and control ourselves. I love this interpretation because it seems to work in life even when actual physical stillness (while SO important on a regular basis) is not possible. You might enjoy this GORGEOUS "It Is Well" from Kristine DiMarco. Singing this with my teenager in church was one of the highlights of my life so far. xoxo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0dIWJ4t4Jg
Tracey Brewer says
I love that translation, too! It is often difficult to get that time for physical stillness, but as we "let go" of what we can't control (everything!), our minds can be at rest.
Thanks for sharing the video!
This hymn is one of my favorites! To illustrate your point and how much I need this reminder all the time: Just yesterday, as I was sitting and nursing Hannah, my mind was racing as to how to get some errands done and which were the most important and which could be saved until later. Babies don't do well with too many errands. 🙂 Then I felt a gentle reminder to pray, so I did. And I got the wisdom I needed along with the peace I sought. It was wonderful!
Since I struggle with worry, I need these constant reminders. 🙂
Tracey Brewer says
Thank you so much for sharing that story!! I'm the same way – so caught up in what needs to be done, that I so often fail to stop and pray. Trusting that the Lord will continue to work this message in to my heart.
CE Watson says
Such a wonderful hymn! How we loose a blessing by not making these old hymns a part of our daily worship! Thank you for sharing! Chris
Tracey Brewer says
Yes – I haven't done that as much lately, but I need to get back to it!
This is so calming and comforting…