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Be Still



(Photo by TianaForLove - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Sometimes the simplest of things are the hardest. For example, trusting God sounds so simple, but its simplicity belies its difficulty. The conveniences of modern life have masked the need for deeper values – such as trust in a sovereign God.

Trust is birthed from a place of inner stillness. An old proverb reminds us that “still waters run deep.” To “be still” flies in the face of all that modern life has taught us.

We have been taught that “every tub has to sit on its own bottom;” “the early bird gets the worm;” and one of my favorites: “the first law of nature is self-preservation.”

While useful for developing young personalities and instilling them with a sense of confidence, we should also beware that confidence or reliance on oneself to the exclusion of the community is the polar opposite of trusting God.

Trusting a sovereign God requires a certain abnegation of self. Trust means that no longer do we have confidence or security in our own abilities or resources; rather, we have learned to place our confidence in God.

The lesson of simple trust in the goodness of a sovereign God is learned from a place of stillness. The psalmist is told to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

This type of security is forged through the fires of experience — maybe even a COVID-19 pandemic experience. It is the ability, not to hoard essentials at the local market, but to “fear not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13). Knowing that God can and will act when our actions — indeed our very movements — are restricted, births a simple trust.

The act of trusting a sovereign God is performed only when things that you deem important (e.g., your marriage, your money, your children, your reputation, your health) are put at risk — sometimes all at the same time.

Trusting God is also the ability to stay “out of your feelings” or to keep your emotions in check, when all that is within you is telling you that you need to be “in your feelings” and that it’s really okay to lose your Christian civility. Trust is the ability to “be still” when your every instinct is to “do something.”

We each have our own opinions of what the world should be like, and how everything that happens in it should cater to our needs and conform to our opinions.

This type of selfishness, or rejection of community, is the enemy of trusting God. In all our problems, obstacles, setbacks, defeats, frustrations and even utter failures, stands God Himself.

Yet with each setback, bad situation, and day of social isolation, we are given the opportunity over and over to learn to be still and trust God.

Rev. R. D. Bernard is pastor of the King Solomon Baptist Church in Vicksburg. He has recently published a book about the church’s history, “We are King Solomon.” See our live interview with him about the book on our Facebook page.

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Vicksburg Daily News