Their strength is to sit still. (Isaiah 30: 7 KJV)
Inner stillness is an absolute necessity to truly knowing God. I remember learning this during a time of great crisis in my life. My entire being seemed to throb with anxiety, and the sense of need for immediate and powerful action was overwhelming. Yet the circumstances were such that I could do nothing, and the person who could have helped would not move.
For a time it seemed as if I would fall to pieces due to my inner turmoil. Then suddenly “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19: 12 KJV) whispered in the depths of my soul, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46: 10). The words were spoken with power and I obeyed. I composed myself, bringing my body to complete stillness, and forced my troubled spirit into quietness. Only then, while looking up and waiting, did I know that it was God who had spoken. He was in the midst of my crisis and my helplessness, and I rested in Him.
This was an experience I would not have missed for anything. I would also say it was from the stillness that the power seemed to arise to deal with the crisis, and that very quickly brought it to a successful resolution. It was during this crisis I effectively learned that my “strength is to sit still.”
~Hannah Whitall Smith
There is a perfect passivity that is not laziness. It is a living stillness born of trust. Quiet tension is not trust but simply compressed anxiety.
Not in the turmoil of the raging storm,
Not in the earthquake or devouring flame;
But in the hush that could all fear transform,
The still, small whisper to the prophet came.
O Soul, keep silence on the mount of God,
Though cares and needs throb around you like a sea;
From prayers, petitions, and desires unshod,
Be still, and hear what God will say to thee.
All fellowship has interludes of rest,
New strength maturing in each level of power;
The sweetest Alleluias of the blest
Are silent, for the space of half an hour.
O rest, in utter quietude of soul,
Abandon words, leave prayer and praise awhile;
Let your whole being, hushed in His control,
Learn the full meaning of His voice and smile.
Not as an athlete wrestling for a crown,
Not taking Heaven by violence of will;
But with your Father as a child sit down,
And know the bliss that follows His “Be Still!”
~Mary Rowles Jarvis
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 146). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.