I considered hanging my “Be still & know that I am God” sign above our mantle. Since that required pulling out a hammer, nail and ladder (3 objects extremely dangerous in the presence of small boys), the sign sat leaning on top of mantle…for months. It’s pleading message of “be still” peaking out behind a decorative glass plate and a vase. Like the can of paint sitting on my bathroom counter, another reminder of my unfinished projects.
When my interior designer friend came for a visit I asked her opinion about the un-hung sign. Instead of discussing where above the mantle to hang these words, she, of course, thought of a new and genius place for display.
“Why not above the back door?” (how do y’all think of these things? brilliant!)
One brave day when half the boys were sleeping and the other half contently played outside, I pulled out those 3 dangerous objects and placed “Be still & know that I am God” above our most frequent entrance & exit. I stood back and admired my work, realizing this positioning allowed the words to be read, not only from the backdoor, but when you walked in the front door as well.
I have to admit, I was pretty proud of my decorating + spiritual homemaking skills. Adding beauty & truth in our home…20 points.
Then it happened…a few slammed doors later…I looked up to see this:
Now instead of peace admiring my finished project, stress came because I saw another project. A straightening project. A recurring, straightening project.
I pulled over a chair and tipped the sign back into level position (repeat 2 more times that day).
sidenote: In case you are ready to help a poor gal out, I am confident the source of my tilted sign is the incorrect use of hanging materials. Instead of using a nail with a hook to hang the string on, I used a single nail. So the sign continues to swing from this single nail until it finds rest on the doorway frame.
When another friend came over for lunch I felt the need to apologize for my crooked sign (the decoration I no longer took pride in but was a little embarrassed of).
The crookedness became a physical reminder of my mess.
Yet, isn’t that actually the heart of this verse’s message?
He doesn’t call me to wait until I have it all together and then rest in Him.
This phrase “be still” comes from the Hebrew term raphah.
“Raphah is found in various forms in the Old Testament, with different shades of meaning. It refers to that which is slack, or to let drop, or in some instances, to be disheartened or weak. When used of a person (as opposed to some inanimate object) it often has a negative connotation.” (Jason Jackson)
We could translate the verse, “Let it drop or be weak, & know that He is God”.
Let. it. drop.
“Being still” is not so much about the lack of movement but about the action of releasing.
Without intention, my decorating style perfectly displayed the message of Psalm 46:10. As the sign drops to one side and rests on the doorframe, so my soul drops and bows before my Support, my refuge. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
This command — “be still” — forces us to think on two things: that we are finite, and that God is infinite. That being the case, we need to drop our hands, go limp, relax, and “chill out.” (Jason Jackson)
The heart of humility is this idea. Resigning to the power and mercy of God is the source of salvation.
“Nothing but the presence of God can reveal and expel self.” (Andrew Murray)
Through knowing God (His character, His past faithfulness, His gifts, His plan), then I can let it drop. Admit my weaknesses (decorating or otherwise) and rest in His all sufficient nature.
May you sink every morning into that “perfect, helpless dependence on God.”
Anyone else brave enough to share a decorating “weakness”?
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