The Battle to “Be Still”

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  Ps. 46:10

Being still is the hardest thing when you are anxious or depressed.  I know, in my case, that was because if I was still, my thoughts used to SCREAM at me, and there was no peace.  It’s like a soldier having to stand there being yelled at by a drill sargeant.  Being still under that type of barrage is almost impossible.

I used to be terrified to be still.  TERRIFIED.  I didn’t want to have to deal with all of those fearful and depressing thoughts that were always swirling around my mind.  I kept my mind busy at every second.  If I wasn’t working, I was knitting or crocheting, or reading the RSS feeds on my Blackberry.  I was TERRIFIED when I ran out of things to do or read.  I mean, real panic attack material there.

The worst part about this scenario is that it is almost impossible to pray and seek God’s help without being still – at least momentarily still.  Notice that, in the above psalm, it notes that He WILL BE exalted everywhere.  In other words, He is the Big Guy, the Big Honcho, the One In Charge.  He actually has the power to turn things around for us.  If we REALLY BELIEVED that He was in control – AND IS FOR US – we would be able to be still, because we would BELIEVE HE WOULD HANDLE THIS STUFF FOR US.

That’s why we have to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)     We have to disarm these thoughts by revealing the lies and speaking the truth about the situation.  THEN, when we have SOME silence in our mind, we can sit before God and talk to Him, ask of Him, read His word, meditate and LISTEN TO HIM.

But we have to be WILLING to do this.  I know that my depression and anxiety, no matter how unnerving and painful it was, had become my excuse to be lazy and give up.  I wasn’t ready to completely give it up.  That’s why I hung on to it for so long. 

Ps. 81: 10 – 14 says:

 10 I am the LORD your God,
       who brought you up out of Egypt.
       Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

 11 “But my people would not listen to me;
       Israel would not submit to me.

 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
       to follow their own devices.

 13 “If my people would but listen to me,
       if Israel would follow my ways,

 14 how quickly would I subdue their enemies
       and turn my hand against their foes!

Sometimes we are just stubborn idiots, to put it plainly, and he lets us wander in our deserts, complaining about everything we don’t have while forgetting that we have been delivered from slavery and have a Leader who will provide for all of our needs.  He waits until we are ready to finally open our mouths so he will fill it, and listen to him, following his ways, so he would subdue our enemies.

Now, I know that some of you are so depressed right now that you don’t believe that God cares one bit about you and your situation.  That’s ok.  Just because you don’t believe it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true, though.  Did you know that you are CHOOSING to believe what you believe?  From a purely earthly standpoint, you don’t KNOW that He isn’t for you – you are CHOOSING to believe that.  You also don’t KNOW empirically that he IS for you – but you CAN CHOOSE TO BELIEVE that HE IS FOR YOU.  This is one of those attitude adjustments that will make or break you.

If you are WILLING to let go of this overbearing “friend” you have let attach itself to your life, and to stop playing the victim to it so you don’t have to actually DO ANYTHING about this, TAKE THOSE THOUGHTS CAPTIVE and think it through.  STOP the drill sargeant long enough to have a few minutes of peace, and spend them being still with God.  Read a few verses of scripture, pour out your heart to him AGAIN, and listen for His response the best that you can.  You may only be able to capture a few minutes of stillness, but it is the beginning of recapturing as much as you ever need.

So head on over to the Forum Thread for What Am I Thinking and write it all down:  Get a moment of peace!

Penny Haynes