Word Study: Still

As a language arts teacher, I have spent countless hours discussing the meaning of words with my students.  The connotations and associations fascinate me.  A word evokes varying emotions depending on one’s frame of mind and reference.

From time to time here on the blog, I want to take a “looksy” at some significant vocabulary, and today I had the perfect challenge when I read this post about the word “still.” (Thank you for the inspiration, Gypsy Mama!)

Why do we find it so hard to be still?  This picture of the sunset captured a moment in time — a stormy late afternoon at the beach on the West coast of Florida.  There is no rushing a perfect sunset — you have to wait and keep focused to enjoy its majesty.  So my hubby and I sat still.  The reward far outweighed the sacrifice of the time we would have probably squandered away checking our e-mail on our i Phones.

The Scriptures uses the word “still” in many connotations, and after examining some of those spots this evening, I came away with 3 “take aways”:

1.  Being “still” implies that I am abiding, remaining, dwelling.  In Numbers 9:8, Moses told the Israelites they must “stand still” to hear what God had to say.  Waiting receptively captures the essence of stillness.

2.  Abandon characterizes the word “still.”  In Psalm 46:10, the Psalmist cries, “Be still and know that I am God.”  In the Hebrew, the word literally means “sink, relax, abandon.”  We must cease from striving. I must let God be “Lord of my everything” and trust Him.

3.  Jesus exemplified steadfastness as an element of being “still.”  In Matthew 20:32, Jesus stood still and listened with compassion to the cry of a needy blind man.  He stepped away from the multitude and showed compassion.  He had an immovable purpose and a firm resolution that did not allow Him to be distracted or lead astray.

My conclusion is that “being still” is not a passive action at all — Stillness requires a great deal of determination and discipline, but the reward creates a window to see the miraculous hand of God at work in and through our lives.

How  can we incorporate a purposeful stillness into our walks as followers of Jesus?  Feel free to share your thoughts below.  Thanks for stopping by!