Be Still and Know That It’s Not Nap Time

March 21, 2023  - By Sarah Valentour

Be Still and Know That It's Not Nap Time - an article from Well-Watered Women

When I was younger, I had no idea that my life would be so run by to-do lists. Some days, it feels like I need a list to manage my other lists. I like to think of myself as calm and carefree, moving slowly, relaxing through life. But in reality, hustle culture has lured me in. I get caught up in the daily grind, hoping that if I just keep moving, I can solve more of my own problems and anxieties. Somehow, it always ends with my left eye twitching for days. 

When burnout closes in, my quiet time becomes more hectic—typically involving desperate searches by keyword for help. With my Bible open, I find a quick fix, a spiritual doctor’s note out of the crazy cycle I’ve created for myself: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10a).

If hustling is driving me crazy, stillness appears to be the answer. However, in my haste for rest, I skip the true meaning and beauty of that verse. God’s call for stillness is not a call for relaxation but a call to trust in God’s power to act for the good of his people and for his ultimate glory.

Be Still and Know That It’s Not Nap Time

Psalm 46 is not an excuse to lay back and remember to relax every once in a while. Israel is experiencing chaos and warfare as the psalmist writes this psalm. The verse many know by heart comes at the end of exaltations of God’s strength. The nations are raging, but God makes wars cease; the waters are roaring, but God causes the earth itself to melt away (vv. 6, 9). The act of being still is a response to our Creator’s magnitude, not a parent’s note to use as an excuse to say no to one more obligation.

Be Still and Know That It’s Time to Act

The word used in Psalm 46 for be still is raphah, which means to cease, slacken, or weaken.1 In a psalm filled with images of God’s might, God calls for his people and the nations to cease—to weaken themselves. At first, this seems like a call to inaction, but it’s actually a call to actively humble ourselves before the Lord. God works powerfully in our weaknesses, demonstrating his greater might in spite of our own abilities (2 Cor. 12:9–10). 

Busyness is not the root of my problem; my need for control is at the center of my inability to accept stillness. When we acknowledge our weakness and our inability to be lord of our own lives, we stop trying to control every situation. In Exodus 6, when addressing the Israelites while still in Egypt, God reminds his people continually, “I am the LORD,” as a reminder of who he is, what he has promised, and what he can do (Ex. 6:2, 6, 7, 8, 29). Because of the mighty works of the Lord, we can practice stillness rather than holding tightly to control. 

Be Still and Know That It’s Time to Worship

Immediately after God commands his people to be still, he proclaims, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Ps. 46:10b). Praise is the right response to God’s magnitude. Psalm 46 demonstrates how God fulfills his word and delivers Israel in their time of need. In our own lives, the Lord moves in ways greater than our own. He fulfills his will for his glory and our good, and we respond in praise. He is exalted when we lower ourselves and praise him among the nations. 

Be Still and Know That He is Greater

We experience peace through the stillness of submission to our God, the One who is faithful to his people and Lord over the earth and nations. When we humble ourselves before the Lord, trusting in his will and his ability to move for us, we practice the act of being still. So be still before the Lord today by accepting your weakness, surrendering control to the Lord, and responding in worship. 

Be Still and Know That It's Not Nap Time - an article from Well-Watered Women - quote

Meet the Author

Sarah Valentour is the Fulfillment Specialist for Well-Watered Women, shipping out gospel-driven happy mail daily. Living in the metro-Atlanta area with her husband, she is passionate about writing on the Lord’s immense faithfulness, snuggles with her nieces and nephew, and discovering those unique intricacies that make certain words tick.


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Be Still and Know That It's Not Nap Time - an article from Well-Watered Women - story
  1. "H7503 - rapa - Strong's Hebrew Lexicon (ESV)." Blue Letter Bible. Accessed February 6, 2023.

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