January 07, 2019

Being Still

Devotion for the Week...

Every morning a devotion from (in)courage pops into my inbox. I don't read every single one, but I do read a lot of them and I enjoy them. Back in November they shared a post about self-care and one phrase caught my attention. In reference to Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God," the author, Bonnie Gray, wrote, "the The Hebrew word for “be still” is raphah, which means “to loosen your grip, relax."

I've always had a rather literal interpretation of 'be still,' as in stop working on it, whatever it may be at any given moment. Stop working to solve your problem, stop trying to work everything out yourself. Just stop. The NASB translation, which says, "Cease striving," certainly fits with that literal interpretation.

But if raphah means to loosen your grip and to relax, then it actually goes a bit deeper than not working. It also means to stop worrying, to stop letting the situation swirl around in your mind endlessly. It means to let go of the problem and hand it over to God, who has better control over it anyway.

Raphah goes beyond physical stillness (not actively working to fix things) to the mental, emotional and spiritual (relaxing, experiencing calm despite the circumstances). After all, I could stop trying to fix a situation while at the same time still obsessing over it and worrying about how it will turn out. Raphah means that I relax my mind as much as I relax my efforts.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
When we're still, both in mind and body, we are better able to see how God is working in our lives and in our circumstances. In order to recognize His hand in our lives, we need to loosen our grip on everything. Otherwise we might be tempted to think that it was our worrying and our effort that accomplished everything when really it was Him.

"Be still, and know that I am God."


  1. I think you are spot on here. I always love the verse and the advice, though it's more than advice, coming from the source of all things. Thanks for the sharing.


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