“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
My house is kept fairly orderly. I like a place for everything and everything in it’s place. Day in and day out I work to keep it clean; I do the dishes, put away the folded laundry, sweep the floors, scrub the toilets.
I go grocery shopping and make sure we have food (though meal planning is yet to be perfected). It all goes to its rightful spot when it gets home from the store, and the bags are saved for later use.
When diapers or paper towels or dish soap or whatever else runs low, I make a list and bring it and Levi to Walmart to replenish our supplies. The changing table and bathrooms get stocked, the dispensers refilled.
In my bathroom cleaning this morning I couldn’t help thinking — I do all of these things to maintain the household, and yet when Josh comes home he doesn’t see it. Of course, he does see it; he sees the order or lack thereof, he sees that he doesn’t need to think about whether or not there’s enough toilet paper or soap. And I know he’s genuinely grateful for all that I do each day. But it doesn’t seem to make the impact I expect it to make.
He doesn’t see all these efforts as ways to his heart; they don’t seem to make a difference in how loved and respected he feels. Rather, he lights up when I spend time with him. He deeply appreciates my home- and family-keeping, but it makes him even happier when I put those things aside to focus on him. To talk with him about what he’s been reading, to hold hands and walk through town, to get to know him better.
There are so many lessons in marriage, and this is one that I hadn’t been expecting or looking for… but as I thought more, there in the bathroom this morning — I heard that verse over and over.
Be still and know that I am God.
The context of this verse is God’s power, Him being the Refuge for His people and the Conqueror of nations. And in the midst of wars and the struggles of nations at that time, He tells His people to be still. To rest in Him, to know that He is God and He is their refuge — He is powerful to break bows and cut spears in two, to bring about the outcome He wills despite how it looks to those in battle.
It fits with the rest of the Bible; there’s a theme God shows us of resting in Him. Allowing Him to be enough, because He is.
Our salvation doesn’t come by works, nor do we keep it by works. It’s a gift that we receive freely. He desires our relationship and our knowledge of who He is and how He loves more than all the things we can do for Him.
Though it’s not an exact comparison, as Josh can’t be my everything — my relationship with my husband isn’t based on what I do any more than my relationship with God is. The works are still important, both for my relationship with Josh and with God; but they aren’t what define the relationships or keep them together.
It’s so sweet, isn’t it? To be loved not based on what you do, but for who you are and who you’re becoming. What a picture God gives us through marriage!
I realize not everyone reading this has the same picture in their marriage. If that’s you, pray you’re still able to see today that your relationship with Christ isn’t dependent on your works, that you’re deeply loved because He bought you for a high price and He calls you His child. He desires for you to rest in Him and find Him to be your Refuge.
And if you don’t believe in God, if you don’t have a relationship with Him — I pray you grapple today with the fact that He is a just God who is all-powerful. He is also a God of mercy, and He delights in taking sinners and making them whole.