the past few months I have watched and participated in conversations that have left me shaken to the core. Beliefs I carry have been questioned repeatedly and at some points even completely dismissed as bogus.
I have felt underappreciated, undervalued, and unloved on a whole lot of levels. It has left me questioning a whole array of areas in my life.
To say that I have been baffled at the way individuals are talking to and about one another would be an understatement. And to say that I don’t really see an end to the unpleasantness anywhere in sight would probably not shock anyone.
As I was sitting at my kitchen table in the quiet (a rare luxury around here for sure) the words “just be still” popped into my mind. That is a verse that I have heard over and over again.
“Be still and know that I am God”
The problem is I couldn’t for the life of me remember where it is found in the Bible. (This is where Google came in handy.)
Quickly I was able to find that this verse that I have heard all too often, seen on any number of t-shirts, mugs, and tote bags, is found in Psalm 46.
I pulled out my Women’s Study Bible which happens to be the Holman Christian Standard Version and flipped to that particular location in the Psalms.
I was caught off guard by what I read.
“Stop your fighting and know I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”
Stop your fighting
Wow. What a picture. Stop. Stop fighting and KNOW that God is God. For some reason that just hit me so much more than to just simply “be still.”
Being still is easy (mostly). Meditation is something that individuals use often as a way to center and focus. Be still. Empty your mind. Allow God to come in and show you what he would have you know. Rest.
All of these are what I have heard accompanied with this particular verse.
Fighting is hard work. My husband has been involved in a fun live action role playing game for around 20 years. Every weekend he gets together with a group of other individuals and they sword fight with weapons created by golf club shafts covered in pool noodle foam and fabric. Each weekend I watch them “fight” together. The physical exertion that takes place is sometimes unreal. By the time time day is over exhaustion has usually taken over and the body is just worn out.
If fighting is hard, stopping the fighting is equally hard, if not more so. Letting go of the “rightness” of our opinions. Letting go of our justification, our anger, our hatred for those on the other side. You see, fighting has to have fuel to continue to burn the fire. The longer you fight the bigger the flames get. Anger takes root not because it belongs there but because the door has been opened
That picture is what comes to my mind when I read “stop your fighting” Put away your weapons. No matter how hard we work we are doing little to no good in the grand scheme of thing.
And it is no different with the verbal fighting and emotional fighting going on all around us today. The weapons have been drawn and there are casualties on all sides. Love is no longer the universal language. Sadly, anger has become the norm.
John 13:34-35 say
“A new command I I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
My heart has been saddened by the lack of love that has been shown by one another to one another. Jesus loves in a sacrificial manner. He put himself last so that others may be first. While he carried the truth in his message he did it gently and graciously. He did not resort to petty arguing, slander, insults, and negative thinking. Instead he listened, observed, and responded. In that order. We are called to be doers of the word and not mere hearers but I fear that calling is falling on deaf ears.
So today, I am choosing to stop fighting. I am laying down my weapons. I am making the decision to love as Jesus loved, listen as Jesus listened, and be a doer of the Word in which I so firmly believe in.