Stillness as Resistence

Following up on yesterday's post, about how hard it is to stay still, I was reminded of a famous passage in Exodus.

Moses and the Israelites are backed up against the Red Sea, Pharaoh and the Egyptian army bearing down on them. Trapped between a rock and a hard place, the people begin to panic. Nowhere to go! Nowhere to run!

Then Moses says:
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Goodness, that's so hard and counter-intuitive. When trouble is heading right for you being still doesn't come easy. We want to act, to do something. Being still seems like doing nothing.

But being still can be a profound act of resistance. If not in body then in heart and mind. Being still makes room for God to fight for us. Yet, this is such a profoundly countercultural thing to say and do in this world of self-sufficiency, self-help, and self-actualization. Stillness is hard during this season of COVID-19, when everyone is running around like a chicken with its head cut off. The crazed, anxious activity of others infects us, making us feel shamed or anxious about staying still.

But on the banks of the Red Sea, God fights for the still.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply