Step Out of the Traffic
I am one of those people who thrives being relatively self-sufficient. I like to control things. When something is wrong, I often instantaneously provide a remedy. I am a “doer.” I’ve never been able to sit still, and even if I could, I’m not sure I’d actually want to. I often live my life with the unspoken rule, "If things aren’t going the way I expect them to go, I just need to work harder."
There is nothing wrong with a superior work ethic and a driving will to succeed; in fact, both are admirable character traits I believe God honors. I am reminded though, that when these strong qualities are not continually submitted to the Lord, they will cause me to miss the beauty of God working on my behalf. In all of my attempts to control, fix and plan, my energy is often so consumed by the hugeness of my problems that I can easily forget the power of the huge God I serve.
One of the things I love most about the Psalms is that though David was a brave, fierce and capable warrior, His reliance on God’s power is the prevailing theme. Psalms 46 is one of my favorite passages because in the middle of unthinkable chaos David pens “Be Still and Know that I am God.” (vs 10) David describes a total Armageddon like situation: the earth giving way, mountains falling into the sea, mountains quaking with the roar of waters, nations in uproar ad kingdoms falling. Can you imagine anything more terrifying?
I don’t know about you, but in recent years I have found myself in some hopelessly large situations that have also felt “Armageddon like.” At the time it felt like my world was literally collapsing. I’d like to say I had the still, quiet, and trusting heart of David, but honestly, in chaotic situations I often do the opposite. I am stressed. Anxious and frightened. I run around in frenzied desperation doing anything and everything I can to hold myself together and take on things that I was never designed to do. Have you been there?
I believe applying the truth of this Psalms can revolutionize the way we tackle life's problems. I love the way the message version of the Bible paraphrases Ps 46:10: Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
Step out of the traffic! Another version of this text says “cease striving.” Take a breather. Rest first in the knowledge of WHO God is. Don’t be so quick in running to solve problems that you miss His instructions. Sometimes God commands people to fight, work, move, and go forth with courage as in Joshua 1:9. Other times, as Exodus 14:4 states, we need to only be still because God will fight for us.
When we step out of the chaotic problems of life and choose to acknowledge the bigness of our God, everything falls into a proper context. The tendency to freak out is minimized. We receive clarity and direction, and essential marching orders from our all knowing Father.
Written by Christina Stolaas
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