In Texas, ceiling fans are an essential element of residential comfort, and my fan has begun to hum. It didn’t keep me awake last night, but almost. And I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sleep through the intermittent “music” tonight. Oddly, during the day, I don’t hear it at all. In fact, I didn’t even know I had a noisy fan until late Monday afternoon, when the hubbub of the day had ended and all was quiet.
Hmmm. It seems that fan is not only a potential sleep disruptor. It’s also a reminder of this spiritual directive: “Be still and know that I am God.” That quote is from Psalm 46, the same Psalm that begins with the words “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.” Sometimes our situation looks dire, almost as bad as the earth giving way and the mountains falling into the sea. It’s awfully hard to remember that God is our refuge and strength. But that same Psalm gives us the first step to remembering the power of our God, the first step to peace and freedom from fear. Be still. Be quiet. Come away from the fray. Turn off the media barrage. Say no to a few social engagements. Find a place of silence, or at least silence the distracting litany of concerns swarming around inside. And listen. Pray. Cast all cares on the Lord who loves us. Know that he is God.
I can’t hear that fan when my day is busy. Sometimes I can’t hear the Lord when my heart is busy. We’ve been called to stillness, stillness without when possible, and stillness within when needed—which, of course, is all the time. We always need enough quiet within to remember, as the rest of Psalm 46 says, “The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Who would have thought a noisy fan could call me to a deeper trust? It also has reminded me to be careful how much “noise” I allow into my life. I hope you’ll comment on this blog and tell me: How have you found the stillness you need in order to know that he is God?