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

Want some peace in this world of chaos, warfare and panic? So do I! This ancient verse, written in a time that sounds all too familiar, shows us the way.

Be still. Let’s begin by taking a breath. Calming down. One translation says: “Cease striving.” Ahhh….

Know (remember) He is God. (…and its corollary: I am not!)

Ask yourself: how much of my stress comes from trying to keep myself and everyone around me free from risk, danger, trouble? How much do I try to control others to turn into what I think they should be? How much pressure am I putting on myself to be perfect? How much do I think “it’s all on me?”

I used to live that way. Growing up in a family ruled by addiction and fear, I decided the only way to have the peace and security I longed for was control. I trusted no one else. So I tried. Oh, how I tried! I pushed and nagged and ordered and screamed–making everyone miserable. Including myself.

Finally, I had surrender to the One who really was God, to trust that His plan for me and mine was much better than my own. When I could understand God loved and accepted me as I was, I could accept others as they were, knowing it was His job (not mine) to change what needs changing.

I gave control to One Who is, as Saint Augustine put it, “…Most high, most good, most powerful, most omnipotent, most merciful and most just, most secret and most present; most beautiful and most strong; most stable and incomprehensible; unchangeable (yet) changing all things; never new, never old; making all things new, and bringing the proud to the (collapse of) old age; ever acting, ever at rest; gathering not needing; carrying and filling and protecting (all things); creating and nourishing and perfecting; seeking, though you lack nothing.” (Quoted in “You Were Made for This Moment,” by Max Lucado.)

We are not even close.

No wonder will He be exalted in the nations (the political world); He will be exalted in the earth (the natural world). The victory over the Enemy and his schemes, over all wickedness and injustice, over warfare itself, is His. He has promised that we will see it (Psalms 37:34) and He does not lie.

Now what was it, exactly, that we were all so worried about?

FATHER GOD: Forgive us for making You too small, too familiar, for exalting ourselves in Your place.
You are God. We bow before You. Amen.

To be published in  “Bozeman Daily Chronicle,” October 31, 2021.