Featured Article – Be Still and Know That I Am God
Be Still and Know That I Am God…
Powerful and comforting words to hear in these trying times, wouldn’t you agree? I wonder sometimes if people really sit back and meditate on those words found in Psalm 46:10? Is it that the world around us is so tumultuous at times, that that can be so hard to believe? I have often thought about that and my answer would be – Yes. I have put my faith and trust in God for all of my needs, but there is always the flesh that speaks out having me doubting God’s plans. That small voice in the back of mind saying “Are things really going to be okay?” Even as a believer I have allowed that whisper of Satan to worry me. Anxiety sets in. Doubt abounds. Questions flow in and out of my mind like a waterfall…. “What if?”
Boom! The door of my mind slams shut and I am brought back to reality. Back to the reality that no matter what is going on in my life or this world for that matter – God is still in control! It’s then when I say to myself “How could I have been so foolish to not trust that God had a plan all along?”
My life verse for sometime has been Romans 8:28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” With the COVID-19 pandemic hopefully coming to end in 2021, I have had to hold on to the Scripture more in the last year and a half than I have had to in my nearly entire 41-years in this world. When the pandemic first hit us in March 2020, I lost my job. I had just gotten done with training, but when things started shutting down, unfortunately being the last one hired, meant I was the first one to go when things downsized. I was unemployed for the first time in nearly a decade. It would continue for months on end. Thankfully we live in the greatest country on this planet. The government would offer a stimulus package for those who lost their job. You never quite understand the need for help until it shows up at your doorstep.
My family and I prayed and God answered that prayer time after time. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. While my family and I did not know what one day to the next would hold, we prayed that God would have His will and His way in everything. I will admit, I was skeptical at first, but I can truly say that we continued on with the Lord as our guide. The COVID-19 pandemic was something that the country had not seen in over 100 years. Not since the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic had the word “Quarantine” and “Pandemic” really been a forefront in American life. Not only was it ravaging the countryside here in the states, but it was doing the same world-wide. While we came out of the pandemic relatively unscathed both health-wise and financially, it came at the ultimate costs to many around us.
My grandmother’s husband caught the virus in the spring of 2020 and was hospitalized. Being in the hospital is bad enough, but with the lockdown and quarantine restrictions in place, she couldn’t even see him. Could not be there to show her love and support and to hold his hand. He passed away in the hospital a few weeks later. Alone. No one there to comfort him. I couldn’t even fathom that. Laying in a hospital bed, dying. No one there. No visitors. No family there, nothing. I felt so bad for her. She said she felt heartbroken, like her not being able to be there for him was somehow her fault. “He probably thought no one loved him enough to be there”. I reminded her that that was not the case. I’m positive he knew that she loved him and if he was even aware of what was going on around him, that he would understand the circumstances.
Another effect that this had was on my Pastor. His mother, already living in a nursing home with many ailments and health issues, caught the virus and passed away only days later. While my Pastor told us that he was hoping his mom would pull through, he stood strong in prayer, asking God to intervene. When she passed away, even with the assurance that she was present with the Lord having put her faith in Christ, I knew he was hurting. He probably had questions too. But, he kept on encouraging people each week to come to Jesus.
More recently I COVID hit home for me personally. A good friend of mine whom I had spent a lot of time with had not only gotten the virus, but also developed pneumonia as well. He spent his last week on a ventilator clinging to life. I prayed and prayed, hoping God would spare his life and cure him. He didn’t. This left me with the questioning again. “Why God? Why him? Why now? He was only 46.” The crazy thing about that whole situation was it was the calming words of his widow that really encouraged me in the loss. Here she was, having just lost her husband, telling me “Jay, it will be okay. I pray that his friendship to you and the memories you have will get you through this”. Wow. That was a first. The spouse of a loved one comforting me.
It really put things in perspective. Like I mentioned, Romans 8:28 has been my life verse for about a decade now and its only now that I truly understand this after having to weather a real storm of chaos in life this past year. I sat back and prayed and asked God to reveal to me what is was that he wanted me to do. And He did. “Be still and know that I am God” were the soft words that were whispered to my questioning heart. Despite a global pandemic, God has and still continues to work in my life and in those around me. What has happened that we deem bad, God still uses for good. And despite the not knowing what will happen next, I certainly find solace in knowing that we serve a God that is still in and ALWAYS in control. We just have to take that blind step of faith and put our trust in Him and that He will always have our best in mind. (Jeremiah 29:11)
A good friend of mine named John Waller wrote a song recently, inspired by his own experience with the pandemic and I really think it ties in with what we’re all going through and have dealt with on a personal level not just with the COVID pandemic, but just life general. No matter what tribulations and trials life throws at us, we all have our own “But God” stories. John even made a music video for the song with great visuals. Check this out and let it encourage you today!
Have you dealt with these same things that past year and a half as I have? How have you dealt with it? Maybe you are coming across this and saying to yourself “I am not a believer and I do not know how to deal with this”. I have an answer for you. Come to Jesus. He gave His all, so that you would have a future. Eternal life. Closure. Peace. Understanding. He waits outside your door and knocks. Will you let Him in today? The search is over. He’s the answer you have been looking for. Take that first step today.