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Inspiration & Encouragement

Be Still And Know: The Secret To True Surrender

Be Still and Know...

It has been roughly 17 months since the Novel Coronavirus has been declared a global pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 204,155,396 reported cases and 4,316,399 deaths globally (at the time of writing). Suffice it to say, the past year has been a tumultuous one. A tiny microbe not visible to the naked eye plunged the entire world into chaos, confusion, panic, fear, and isolation. Sounds like the plot of a Sci-Fi movie doesn’t it? Sadly, as writer Mark Twain puts it, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

Invisible Enemy

It feels as though our entire way of life has been rocked by this invisible enemy.  Schools were forced to close, companies transitioned to a work from home model (not an unhappy development, if I may add), many businesses forced to close and of course places of worship closing their physical locations in favour of an online worship experience to keep their congregations safe.

While restrictions around the world have started to ease – as the temperature rises ushering in the sweltering heat of summer – many are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.

I can’t help but wonder how history will remember this moment in time. Maybe the books will say “we went up against the worst pandemic of our lifetime. We suffered unimaginable loss, experienced bursts of creativity, ingenuity, renewed purpose, faith, kindness, togetherness, selfishness. There was also tremendous damage to our collective psyche. We recovered but we were never the same. The physical, mental and emotional scars faded with time but the memories never strayed too far from our consciousness. The void left behind from those we loved and lost, a perpetual reminder of the invisible enemy that laid siege to the world and brought us all to our knees in the most humbling way. Nonetheless, mourning turned to dancing, sadness to gladness as joy came in the morning.” 

“God is Our Refuge” 

While pondering all this, I was led to read Psalm 46 during one of my morning devotionals. 

The Psalmist encourages us to remain steadfast and trust in the power, protection and providence of God even in difficult times. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” (v.1). Notice how the Psalmist applies the logic of faith; since God is a true refuge, we have nothing to fear. The psalmist goes on to describe some otherwise frightening events (v.2-3) but is unwavering in his confidence in God’s ability to get his people through even the worst disasters. We too can apply this logic of faith to our present day disasters. He is still our refuge and because of that we don’t have to be afraid even when the world seems upside down. 

“Be Still And Know…”

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (v.10)

Sure, stopping to rest and reset is good for us and many of us have been forced to do so since the pandemic more or less grounded the whole world to a halt. However, this command for stillness isn’t necessarily about literal stillness. In this passage, the phrase “Be still” comes from the Hebrew word rapha, which means “to be weak, to let go, to release,” in other words, “to surrender.” The second part of the command, “and know,”  brings more clarity to the command, in that we ought to surrender in order to know who He is. When we surrender, we can truly revel in His awesome power and might and experience His peace that “surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7). Through this peace we can be delivered from anything that might cause us to fear

How to be still when the world is spinning out of control 

An act of total surrender in difficult times means that:

  • We lay our worries aside and rest in His peace no matter the circumstance. (1 Peter 5:7)
  • We trust in his power to get us through no matter how bad things may seem. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • Just like the Psalmist, we apply the logic of faith that since He is a true refuge, then we do not have to fear no matter how dark things get. (Psalms 46:1-2)
  • We speak praises to Him and remind ourselves of his mighty works and that if He has done it before, He can do it again. (Hebrews 10:35-37)
  • We take comfort in and find reassurance in his Word. (Deuteronomy 31:8-9)

Surrendering to His will

To Surrender is not a passive act, it is willfully accepting and yielding to the will of God. With that being said, total surrender is not always easy. Personally, I struggle with this sometimes.  Thankfully, we serve a God to whom we can confess our struggles and our brokenness freely and He, in turn, gives us grace and strength to overcome. 

The Psalmist ends the song with the same unwavering confidence with which he started, declaring: “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah” (v.11).  He is still with us today and He is still our fortress. This is a  promise that we can cling to in order to survive the reality of this world. There will always be something frightening or chaotic going on, that’s just the nature of this broken world in which we live. However,  we can trust Him not only to get us through but to help us to recover stronger. He is afterall, the God who remains in control no matter how dire things become. 

The next time fear attempts to overtake you, break out Psalm 46 and remind yourself to “Be Still.”


Lord, you promised to be my all in all, let me rest in you in the middle of this storm. When fear threatens to overtake me, teach my heart to surrender to you. Surround me with your peace that passes all understanding. Thank you for being my refuge and thank you for delivering me from everything that causes me to worry. Amen




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