Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (v. 7)
Do not fret? Holy cow! Who is not fretting right now? I don’t think I have ever experienced a more fretful time, have you? Come on, Lord! This is too much to ask.
I live in a 24-hour here’s-another-thing-to-fret-about cycle.
“Fretting” has a terrific marketing staff. There are organizations full of people who are working full time stirring up fretfulness. It’s not even their fault; it’s the nature of the world. Calm and serenity don’t sell as well as agitation. There are no video games where the heroes wander through the woods and get points for enjoying the scenery and listening to the birds. Rarely do the words, “Looks like everything is really just fine today, relax and enjoy it!” scroll across the bottom of your television screen.
We have bought and paid for our fretfulness. We have cultivated it and fertilized it with our attention. We have filled our world with loud voices constantly reminding us to worry, and that “they” are out to get us, and that all is definitely not well. Fretting and worry can grow into anger that becomes wrath, our final deadly sin and a final dead end for much that we care about.
Maybe that is why this passage starts with “Be still before the Lord.” Stillness is the antidote to fretting. Be still. Be still. Be still and allow the cacophony to subside. Be still until you hear the silver notes of hope singing deep in your heart. Be still. Be still. Let hope in the Lord soothe your fretful soul.
Fold a sheet of paper into two columns. In the first, list things that make you fret today. In the second, list what comes to mind when you are still and wait patiently on God. Write until the second list is longer than the first.
God, help me wait on you. Teach me to be still and focus my heart on yours. Amen.