I hear his sharp, startled cry.
It’s only been half an hour since I cradled him and tucked him into his baby bed for the night. This awakening is unexpected.
The floor creaks under my footstep and he ceases the cries, lies still for a moment, just waiting for Mommy to reach in and scoop him up into arms that will soothe and fix and comfort.
He knows I’m there even though he can’t see me. And for the moment, that’s enough.
I lift him out of the bassinet, snuggle him close and rock from side to side, patting his back and assuring him that “Mommy’s here, baby boy. Mommy will make it better.”
Soon his muscles relax and his head droops down onto my shoulder. His breathing slows and deepens.
Still, I sway back and forth in the darkness and quiet, cuddling this infant blessing, not ready yet to move and let go.
And I’m thinking about this.
After just three months of life with me, my son calms simply at the creaking floorboards that announce my presence in the room.
I don’t have an infant faith or a 3-month experience with my Savior.
Thirty years into this faith journey, still I scream and thrash and demand attention and rescue even when I know He’s with me, even when He’s assured me of His presence, even though He’s never once failed or abandoned me.
I cradle my son and continue rocking back and forth as God reminds me:
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 NIV
It’s not a verse about quiet times or somber worship. It’s a battlefield Psalm, written when circumstances crushed God’s people and their hearts were trembling. The Sons of Korah wrote a song to remind God’s people of this:
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1 NIV).
Ever-present. That’s what our God is. He’s with us. Even before He lifts us out of the pit, we can hear the creaking of His footsteps nearby and know He’s there in the darkness.
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.
Therefore—-because He’s always there—-we need not fear, no matter what rumbles and falls to pieces around us. Even if the foundations of the earth shake, He is our unshakeable Foundation.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress (Psalm 46:7 NIV).
So, “be still.”
In the midst of any darkness, in any storm, in any crisis or struggle or pain, He will display His glory through the rescue and redemption of His children.
That’s me and you.
Those Psalm-writing sons of Korah say it again. Maybe they know we struggle to understand. Maybe they know that a three-month-old baby can trust his imperfect Mama, and yet we’ll fail to trust our perfect God.
So they repeat it for our stubborn, slow-to-learn shaky souls:
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress (Psalm 46:11).
It’s not just the earthquakes and battles that make me question His presence sometimes. It can be as simple as the overwhelming rush of my minivan life.
But there, yes, even there on the busiest of breathless days, The Lord is with me and it’s His presence that gives me peace.
As I lay my sleeping baby boy back down in his bed, I find myself singing an old hymn, a favorite that I’ve sung through some of the hardest times of my life.
It’s a song I’ll be singing all month long as I pursue the presence of Christ by being still and knowing He is God.
What songs do you sing when you’re scared or overwhelmed and need to know God is with you?
Be Still, My Soul
by Katharina Amalia Dorothea 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: 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 blessèd we shall meet at last…
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!
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Copyright © 2013 Heather King