Being Still and Knowing

woman-praying-in-church-featured-w740x493It’s been a long haul. I’ve been facing a couple of challenges that have stretched me and pulled me and forced me to really lean back into God.

And it hurts.

As I sat in Mass this weekend, listening to a missionary priest speak about the work that Cross Catholic Outreach does, near tears because of a number of things, I felt this strong peace.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

It just… happened. As I was trying to remain still, to keep myself present—as opposed to worrying about the past or the future, planning what needs to happen or what might happen, or just feeling the waves of hurt—I kept thinking of this verse.

After Mass, I came home and looked it up. It’s from Psalm 46:11. Reading the entire Psalm, I felt like yes, God was speaking right to me.

God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress

Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken
and mountains quake to the depths of the sea,

Though its waters rage and foam
and mountains totter at its surging.

Streams of the river gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.

God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken;
God will help it at break of day.

Though nations rage and kingdoms totter,
he utters his voice and the earth melts.

The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Come and see the works of the LORD,
who has done fearsome deeds on earth;

Who stops wars to the ends of the earth,
breaks the bow, splinters the spear,
and burns the shields with fire;

“Be still and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
exalted on the earth.”

The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

It’s not easy to be still. I’m a woman of action. I want to do. I want to accomplish. I want to solve and tackle and execute.

Being still and knowing? That’s a different skill set. It’s one I do not naturally possess, and yet I see the wisdom in it.

When I still myself mentally, however imperfectly, God can reach me in a whole different way. When I remember what my spiritual director told me a few years ago, that I’m a human being and not a human doing, then I am open in a better way to hear, to listen, to believe.

When things are rough (and for me, right now, they are), there’s a great comfort and strength in knowing who God is.

It’s not me. I don’t have to worry about that. Cross it off my list, consider it done, worry no more. That’s one responsibility I don’t have.

And thank God for it!

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About the Author

Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom and author whose nose is probably in a book if she's not scraping something off of her shoes. Her latest book is A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. Check out all of her books at

You’re just as likely to find Sarah Reinhard hiding out back with a book as you are to discover her playing in the yard with a few farm animals (or wait--are those her kids?). She’s less enthusiastic about making dinner than she is about eating it, but she loves being a Catholic wife and mom (much though she struggles) and the kids sure are amusing. She’s been happily married for eight years and counting, and she and her husband have three children.

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  1. I stumbled upon this translation of the verse just a couple weeks ago,
    “Cease striving, and know that I am God.” Was a revelation to me. Sounds different than, “Be still…”

  2. Sarah, it’s incredible, because I have been getting similar messages in my life coaching and personal prayer. The “Be still and know that I am God” also stood out as being a strong message for me during this past week’s readings. I find it so beautiful that God is working through all of the Faithful and is moving us toward this reality that we need to recognize the gift of solitude, of simply being with God in stillness and in the heart. Isn’t that ultimately the fulfillment of love: to be with someone, heart-to-heart, and the peace that results just immerses us in the other? Bless you for your honesty about your struggles; I know many – like I – will resonate with your message. :)

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