In the Bible, I love Psalm 46:10, where it says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  I know it’s true because it’s from the Bible. It’s more than that, though. It feels true. I don’t need any convincing that I need to take time to be still.

There are so many pulls and pushes in each day. If you’re like me, it can seem like it’s bedtime before I’m really still.

There are probably hundreds of self-help programs to help people slow down and breathe. They do a lot of good. Taking time to be still has physical, emotional and mental benefits. But this line, “Be still and know that I am God,” also tells us the spiritual reason for stillness.

In the Old Testament, God’s plan for people included rest. God rested after creating the world, and decreed that people must do the same. The Hebrews rested every Sabbath Day, not only to rest, but to worship, to “know that I am God.” It was built into following God’s way. God knew what was good for them.

God’s way included more than resting on the Sabbath. God decreed that the people should avoid work other times as well. There were festivals, special days, harvest times. God seemed less worried about them working than about them getting enough time to be still and know him.

It helps no matter how you do it. A few minutes of deep breaths can make a day go better. A longer time in meditation and prayer does more. Just shutting down all the noise helps.  And God is smiling every time, asking us in Psalm 46:

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know

Be still


Chaplain Jane Millikan is the Director of Spiritual Care at Benedictine Living Community of Wahpeton.

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