Wherever our journey through life has taken us, we can be sure it has not been without trials, challenges and at times great distress. For we are all human, and are joined in one way or another by our shared humanity and life experiences. Yet through it all the Lord has and always will be faithful and Sovereign. We know this to be true as a matter of faith, but in our day to day experience can often feel isolated, forgotten, or even as though we were being punished for something, perhaps asking ourselves “why me?” or “if you love me Lord, why is all this happening to me?” I have certainly felt this way at times, yet looking back I can see the faithfulness of God and how He carried me, if for no other reason than I am still here, still praising Him, and still trusting that He is able no matter what.
In 1873, Horatio Spatford and his wife and four daughters were scheduled to travel to Europe from the United States. Spatford was delayed on business and so sent his wife and four daughters ahead of him on the sea vessel “Ville du Havre”. Tragically, the ship never arrived at its destination, and sank within twelve minutes after colliding with the English ship “Lochearn”. His wife was saved, but all his daughters were lost. After arriving in Wales his wife sent the message to Spatford “Saved alone”. Spatford then left by boat to re-join his wife, and on crossing the seas near to where his daughters drowned, he wrote these now famous words:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul
So often the greatest discoveries and lessons of life are made during the greatest trials too. As though there were something leading us there, not for our demise, but for our benefit. Our text reads “Be still and know that I AM God”. Here in lies the challenge, to be still. For in the stillness is the knowledge of Him who is the I AM. It is possible to be still in the storm. It is possible to be still as the psalmist writes even “though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” Ps 46:2,3 Whenever God revealed an aspect of His nature it was always out from a difficult or troubling situation, and the revelation of God given was always that which the person(s) needed to see or hear. For example, on Mount Moriah where Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac, we know that the Lord intervened, preventing Abraham from that fatal act of obedience, and providing the ram in the thicket. At that time, you could say that Abraham was still and knew that God was the I AM. Though he was willing to sacrifice his son, Abraham needed a miracle of provision as he told Isaac “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” Gen 22:8 So the revelation that Abraham received about the Lord, was not only that God was the “I AM” but also that He was Jehovah Jireh, meaning “the Lord sees”. He sees what we need and makes provision for us.
The Lord wants to reveal something of Himself to you, and whatever it is, is exactly what you need to know about Him right now! I had a personal revelation about the Lord a few years ago, at the exact time that I needed it. It was during the time in my life when the Lord was showing me many things about His Bride and about the global mandate I felt called to. It was overwhelming and at the time I remember feeling so alone, fearful and inadequate. I needed to know Him. To know the aspect of who He is that would meet my need. And that’s what I received, my own personal “I AM” from God. Allow me to explain how I received this revelation. My prayer life is generally divided into two parts, one part is my meditative prayer life in which I have a “quiet room” in my home where I sit in the Lord’s presence listening to Him, the other is where I am praying, interceding, and making supplication, and when our British weather allows, I do this walking around the beautiful countryside where I live. I have always prayed outside like this, and it was during a prayer walk, that I became very conscious of the Lord walking beside me. So at this time of needing to know Him more deeply, was when I received the revelation and heard Him say into my spirit “I AM the One who walks beside!” Wow, that was life transforming for me, it was exactly what I needed to hear, and I remind myself often, that my God is “The One who walks beside”.
Be encouraged, the Lord Sees. He sees you even when no one else does. He knows your thoughts, and your deepest desires. There is something that you need to know about Him right now, something that will transform you, and will bring meaning and hope in your situation. When you are hurting, be still and know, when you are confused, be still and know, when you need direction in life, be still and know, when all forsake you, be still and know, wherever you are and whoever you are, Be Still and Know.