“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
The Coronavirus has triggered a global fear. Healthy caution and uncertainty are often mixed with anxiety and doomsday predictions. Suddenly, a wildly unknown circumstance is knocking at the doors of our homes, schools, churches and businesses. So what, as believers in Jesus, do we do?
While the answer to that question is multifaceted, we believe the first response is the most important one. Our first response, or the first response in a new direction of faith, is: be still and know the He is God.
When fear of any kind comes upon us, it is vital we remember to just be. Be with God. Be with your family. Be present in the moment and try and avoid running down the wildly unknowable future road to impending global destruction. The future is uncertain, but the present is always upon you. So take a breath and just be.
Once we’ve rooted ourselves in being present in the moment the next step is stillness. This is very difficult for many. Social distancing has forced us into new, more solitary routines. But just because your schedule is slow and events are canceled, does not mean your mind and heart are still. The Psalmist David says,
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”
Psalm 23:1-3a (ESV Emphasis added)
Sometimes God makes us lie down. Sometimes this is the ONLY way to have our souls restored. What if our current state of quarantined social distancing is really an invitation to stillness? What if we can be made to rest? What if, on the other side of this virus, we emerge restored instead of traumatized?
Be Still and Know
In times of fear, facts can really help us. Discovering the truth about the Coronavirus death and infection rates is a worthwhile pursuit. However, Biblical knowing is not just a mental exercise. It is not acquiring facts, but rather, communion with ones you love.
“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.”
Genesis 4:1 ESV
When we come to know God, we experience His goodness, His love and His blessing. While facts and knowledge give us information, knowing God gives us intimacy with the One who made all things. The invitation goes out to God’s children to commune with Him:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 ESV
Be Still and Know I AM
God is the great I AM. In Exodus 6:2-3, God calls Himself by a new name, thus revealing a new part of His heart, character and nature.
God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD.I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty,[fn] but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.
Exodus 6:2-3 ESV
Up until that time, God was only known by what He did for people. He was known only as the God Almighty (El Shaddai in Hebrew). People knew of the power of God, but they were about to discover who He was. There is a big difference approaching a God you know about, verse the one who’s character and nature you’ve discovered through intimacy and encounter. The great I AM wants to meet you in this time of fear and uncertainty and show you more than just His power.
Be Still and Know I AM God
And now we’ve arrived at the fullness. The most important part of our exercise is coming to God. He alone is the one who can speak life, truth and hope into our hearts and nation. He has an answer to the Coronavirus. And I know for sure that it includes in part a Body of Christ praying for the health and peace of our communities with a spirit of faith, sonship and rest in the goodness of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Romans 8:1 ESV
Thank you for joining us in this journey of Psalm 46 prayer.