Cease Striving and Look Up

Today I read this blog post by Sally Clarkson about “De-Cluttering Your Soul,” and one of the verses she listed to consider when taking an inventory of one’s soul is Psalm 46:10. The way Sally wrote it out in her post is “Be still (cease striving) and know that I am God.” This is a familiar verse to me, but it was the parenthetical note that caught my attention, impelling me to meditate on the words “cease striving.”

This phrase is a concise reiteration of a concept that God gently impressed upon me a few days ago when I was pulling out all the stops to try to figure out a solution to a particular problem. I was staying up too late, neglecting responsibilities, and focusing all of my attention on trying to find some way, any way, to make happen the thing I desperately wanted to happen. But I came to the end of myself. I had used up all my resources and ideas, and I was still empty-handed.

Then I remembered to look up, and my soul was flooded with peace. I remembered that God is a Father who delights to give good things to His children. I remembered (how easily I forget) to be anxious for nothing, but to present my requests to Him, so that His peace will guard my heart and mind.

That thing that I was making important, making urgent, making an idol, was instantly relegated to not-first-place. It’s not even second or third or fourth place. It’s still on my list somewhere, but I believe that it is also on God’s list now. I don’t need to worry or obsess over it any more. I have ceased striving, and I am confident that He is God. I’ve asked Him for help, and I trust that, in His time, He will answer my prayer.

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