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  • Writer's pictureMarco Inniss

Meaning of ‘Be Still and Know That I Am God’ in Psalm 46:10

Psalm 46 is a beloved passage in which the psalmist declared that no matter what was happening around him, God was his refuge and strength. Safe in the assurance that he is God, we can wait on him even amid chaos. He is still on his throne.

You may not be in prison, but you may be infertile or inactive or in limbo or in between jobs or in search of health, help, a house, or a spouse. Are you in God’s waiting room? If so, here is what you need to know: while you wait, God works.

“My Father is always at his work,” Jesus said (John 5:17). God never twiddles his thumbs.

He never stops. He takes no vacations. He rested on the seventh day of creation but got back to work on the eighth and hasn’t stopped since.

Joseph’s story appeared to stall out in Genesis 40. Our hero was in shackles. The train was off the tracks. History was in a holding pattern. But while Joseph was waiting, God was working. He assembled the characters. God placed the butler in Joseph’s care. He stirred the sleep of the king with odd dreams. He confused Pharaoh’s counselors. And at just the right time, God called Joseph to duty.

He’s working for you as well.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10) reads the sign on God’s waiting room wall. You can be glad because God is good. You can be still because he is active. You can rest because he is busy.

Remember God’s word through Moses to the Israelites? “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today . . . The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13–14). The Israelites saw the Red Sea ahead of them and heard the Egyptian soldiers thundering after them. Death on both sides. Stand still? Are you kidding? But what the former slaves couldn’t see was the hand of God at the bottom of the water, creating a path, and his breath from heaven, separating the waters. God was working for them.

God worked for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The angel told her that she would become pregnant. The announcement stirred a torrent of questions in her heart. How would she become pregnant? What would people think? What would Joseph say? Yet God was working for her. He sent a message to Joseph, her fiancé. God prompted Caesar to declare a census. God led the family to Bethlehem. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

You’ll get through this waiting room season. Pay careful note, and you will detect the most wonderful surprise. The doctor will step out of his office and take the seat next to yours. “Just thought I’d keep you company while you are waiting.” Not every physician will do that, but yours will. After all, he is the Great Physician.


Are you in a season of waiting? Can’t see God working in your life? Get still before the Lord and journal a prayer telling him how you feel. Ask him to help you trust that he’s working on your behalf.

By Max Lucado from the NIV Lucado Encouraging Word Bible.

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