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

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

“Be still,” the voice commands. The voice comes to us out of the deep. It comes to us from on high. “Be still.”

In Hebrew this means to sit tight and be quiet. Not an easy thing for us. We aren’t much at setting aside quiet times each day to read scripture and to pray. And to sit tight–well, for heaven’s sake we have stuff to do, more stuff than we can cram into the day.

A recently retired friend tells me that he is busier than ever and needs a 25 hour day to get things done.

In the midst of our frenzied and unfocused life this Psalm intrudes. Or should we say that evil little virus intrudes and the Psalm arrives with it as a judgment against us and possibility for us. Will we emerge as better and different people when the crisis passes? Will we find opportunities to be still and know God, to know God at least a little better than we know him today?
Here’s a prayer from a wondrous book All Will Be Well.

“Go, and know that the Lord goes with you; let him lead you each day into the quiet place of your heart, where he will speak with you; know that he loves you and watches over you–that he listens to you in gentle understanding , that he is with you always, wherever you are and however you may feel: and the blessings of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit be yours now and forever.