The Need to be Still (@pamjweb)

I have an inbred need to sort things.  I have thought of a solution, long before anyone else has thought of the problem!  So here is a challenge for me.  Sometimes I don’t need to sort, but need to sit still while God does. 

Exodus 14:1-14

New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to camp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, “The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.” And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.’ So the Israelites did this.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, ‘What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!’ So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. The Egyptians – all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops – pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, “Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians”? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!’

13 Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’

The people of Israel are trapped.  The Red Sea is before them, the Egyptian King and his army are thundering towards them.  And they lose their nerve and their trust – both in God and in Moses.  Can God really cope with this situation????  They even want to go back to their time of slavery.  Moses encourages them to not be afraid, but to see what God is going to do for them today.

Brave words from Moses, but maybe not exactly how he was feeling inside – so God tells him to get on with it, to move forwards in his might.  God is as much controller in chaos, as he is the rest of nature – he is the one who will find a way through.

Exodus By Podvinskij (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

So often we are in a rush, we want things to happen now. We crave instant.  Many are time poor, and our lives are the worse for that.   When God acts, he acts, but he does it in his time and at his pace.  The question that challenges me is, ‘how can we follow God, if we are going faster that he is?’

 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still

We need sometimes to stop fighting and sorting, and be still before God – to hear what he is saying.  To stop trying to rush ahead, and wait on him.  To rest in the peace of God and knowing that HE IS in control – when often we aren’t, we’re just reacting – and not always wisely.

 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still

One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.

A businessman came walking by, trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family. “You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman to the fisherman. “You should be working rather than lying on the beach!”

The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”

“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.

The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!” he said.

“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.

The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”

Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”

The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”

We can be so busy fighting and striving, that we miss what God is doing, so busy sorting, we forget to rest in his peace.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still

Sometimes, we forget the art of just being before God.  In peace and stillness, letting him do the fighting and us following through.

So can we too, rise to the challenge, to stop fighting, to let God do our fighting for us, while we are still in his presence?

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About pamjweb

I'm a Methodist Minister, currently unable to work because of chronic illness. I love trying to work out what God's word means for us today - and coffee and cake. Social media gives me the opportunity to still have a voice, and interact with the world