Ramon J. Canals, DMin, serves as ministerial secretary of the Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

Hanging on one of the walls in my house is a beautiful nature scene with Psalm 46:10, which reads, “Be still, and know that I am God.” This is a daily reminder of the most important thing in my life—to know God. But it also reminds me that I must be still to know God, which is a tall order for me. How can I “be still” when there is so much to do? I can hear the phone ringing and pinging. I hear the notifications flooding in, followed by a text, a tweet, and the Facebook reminders that keep coming in.

In the busy, noisy, and crazy world we live in, it is increasingly challenging to be still.

I am a pastor like you and know from firsthand experience that we are some of the busiest professionals on the planet. And yet, I hear the voice of God through His Word saying to me, “Be still, and know Me. I want to have a personal, intimate relationship with you. You need to be still for our relationship to grow.” All too often, my reply is, “But God, I have so much to do. I have committees to run to, sermons to prepare, visits to make, appointments and deadlines to keep, projects to complete, emails to answer, phone calls to return. How can I find time to be still?”

No noise, no action?

The Word of God gently speaks to my heart, saying, “Be still.” God speaks to us in silence. But silence can make us uncomfortable. We feel lost if there is no noise, action, or direction. Is it God’s will for us to be constantly busy, running to and fro without pausing to spend time in communion with Him?

When we habituate ourselves to busyness, it becomes difficult to be still. Doing nothing seems to be a waste of time. We would not admit it, but often, we are afraid of silence. We feel that we must avoid silence. Yet it is during the silence that we position ourselves to hear the voice of God calling us to commune with Him.

Silence is the environment God designed for us to commune with Him. Author Ellen G. White writes, “An intensity such as never before was seen is taking possession of the world. In amusement, in moneymaking, in the contest for power, in the very struggle for existence, there is a terrible force that engrosses body and mind and soul. In the midst of this maddening rush, God is speaking. He bids us come apart and commune with Him. ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Psalm 46:10.”1

I was struck by the following statement which says that even during our devotional times, our minds are restless and do not enter into real communion with God. “Many, even in their seasons of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God. They are in too great haste. With hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ’s loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to remain with the divine Teacher. With their burdens they return to their work.

“These workers can never attain the highest success until they learn the secret of strength. They must give themselves time to think, to pray, to wait upon God for a renewal of physical, mental, and spiritual power. They need the uplifting influence of His Spirit. Receiving this, they will be quickened by fresh life. The wearied frame and tired brain will be refreshed, the burdened heart will be lightened.

“Not a pause for a moment in His presence, but personal contact with Christ, to sit down in companionship with Him—this is our need.”2

Pastor, God knows how busy you are. Nevertheless, He loves you so much that He invites you into a closer relationship with Him amid the silence. Be still, and know that He is God.

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Ramon J. Canals, DMin, serves as ministerial secretary of the Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

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