Cease Striving

I read Psalm 46:10 in the Bible I have used since I was a teenager. It is a New American Standard Reference Edition printed in 1975, the year I graduated from high school. Psalm 46:10: “Cease striving and know that I am God.” The footnote for “Cease” is “Or, Let go, relax.” I wonder if that’s what the Hebrew really means! God says, “Let go, relax, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Here’s the point: If you really want to KNOW God, then let go and relax. Stop trying to control everything. Your human insecurity makes you strive to be in control. Cease striving. Stop trying to control what you cannot control. When you let go of control and relax in God’s love, then you will KNOW God. When you let go of control then God can work to bless you with His good purpose and plan. If you must be in control, then God’s love and power are limited in their effect to bless you. Cease striving and you will KNOW God is God. This “KNOW” is not just facts about; it is experiential knowledge. I can know facts about someone by reading his/her bio on Facebook. If I spend time with him/her in person, then I will have experiential knowledge. So, if you want to KNOW God, then let go of control, relax, and let God work out all things according to His good will (Romans 8:28).  

I am serving as a chaplain resident at a VA medical center with three other residents and a supervisor. We had a COVID-19 outbreak among us. Two residents and the supervisor had symptoms and tested positive. They must quarantine. The situation was out of my control. I thought I would not be able to work at the VA for two weeks. I read Psalm 46:10 and knew I had to let go and relax and know God. I prayed and God answered. (I have daily prayed Psalm 91 and believed God’s promise.) I was able to get a COVID test in one day and the result was negative. God says, “Cease striving, let go and relax, and know that I am God.” The more I let go and let God work the more I experience His love and power.

[Note: Letting go of control does not mean I do not do my part. I pray, do what I can do, and trust God with the result. I had to make some phone calls to find a place to get COVID tested, drive there, wait in the line, and have a long cotton swab stuck up my nose.]

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