finding meaning in the mundane

Stop Striving, Start Listening

hearing from GodBe still and know that I am God ~ Psalm 46:10

I love that verse.  In fact, I love that whole passage.  The whole Psalm is amazing.  It is such an awesome reminder to me.  This morning I woke up and did my daily routine.

  • turned off the alarm
  • got out of bed
  • tried to quietly sneak down the creaky steps
  • flipped on the keurig
  • waited with arms crossed for the keurig to say, ‘ready to brew’
  • fixed my cup of coffee
  • headed to my office

Every day that is my routine.  Yet this morning I heard God whispering to me saying, “Be still and know that I am God.  I’m the one who holds this world together.  I’m the one who woke you up this morning.  I’m the one who is going to give you strength to make it through the day.  I’m the one who is going to protect your family.  I’m the one who is going to be the provider.  You don’t need to do that.


I love how the NASB version translates this verse.  They write,

Cease striving and know that I am God.

The stillness that God wants for us is so much more than just being quiet.  Sometimes we need to just sit still and shut up–true.  But other times what God is really saying is stop doing.  Stop striving, and trying your hardest to make things happen.  Stop working and worrying so much about something that you have absolutely no control over.

I love what the psalmist writes in Psalm 147,

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; Sing praises to our God on the lyre, Who covers the heavens with clouds, who provides rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains.  He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens which cry. He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.  The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness.

When was the last time that you made it rain?  No, I don’t mean tossing dollar bills off a mall balcony, I mean literally rain falling mainly on the plain, type of rain.  When was the last time that you heard the cry of the birds and took care of them?  When was the last time that you controlled the whole atmosphere?

That’s what I thought.  Me too.

What if the best thing for you to do is to just stop?

Today it is time for you to cease striving.  It is time for you to stop trying to do it on your own.  It is time for you to not only be quiet so you can hear from God, but stop the endless whir of energy of you trying to do it on your own.  It is time for you to cast your cares and burdens at His feet, knowing that He cares for you and deeply loves you.  God is a loving Father who hears your cries.  If He hears the cries of ravens, you better believe He hears yours.

What is it?  What is the one thing today that you need to set down and stop doing?  





  1. Great thoughts! I find myself talking at God and dictating my plans to Him! More often than not I find when this is happening, He is waiting for me to be still and know that HE is God! Thanks for this reminder!

  2. Trying so hard to get my wife back after our divorce.

  3. Thanks Peter, great reminder of who is really king! I wonder though if people sometimes mistake ‘be still’ for a reason to sit on the sidelines enamoured with the great commandment and sadly leave the incredible co-mission of the great commission to someone else. There’s a time for stillness and reflection and a time for agile, innovative disciple making where everyone is playing on the field!

    • pgowesky

      May 27, 2015 at 6:02 am

      Dave, I totally agree! I think that there needs to be a healthy rythmn between the two… Aggressive action balanced with stillness and reflection. In my mind the two aren’t set against each other, they actually serve one another.

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