Read Psalm 46
Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10a NKJV)
Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus!
Steal away, steal away home,
I ain’t got long to stay here.
Have you ever felt that you were going in circles? Are you suffering from stress and anxiety? Do you even stop and take time to relax and appreciate your loved ones? Are you plagued with trying to make a certain situation work in your favor, but the more you try the more misunderstood you become? Well, maybe it’s time to be still.
“Steal Away” is one of my favorite spirituals, especially the arrangement by Dr. Matthew Kennedy, my piano instructor and director of the Jubilee Singers at Fisk. Like many spirituals, this one also had a dual meaning. The coded meaning in this song was a call for the slaves to secretly meet to plan their escape or to share information. The spiritual meaning reflected the slaves’ deep longing and expectation to live eternally with Jesus. Many had come to the resolve that even if they personally never came out of slavery, their only fight was to stay in relationship with Jesus Christ their Savior.
Now let’s relate this to Psalm 46. To be still means to actually stop striving and to hear and trust God. Many times we spend so much time and energy trying to reverse things and nothing changes. In verse 1, God as a refuge is likened to a place of hiding or shelter from the natural elements. The psalm also addresses national and worldly concerns that may be out of our control.
You may not need a physical shelter, but you need a spiritual one. You can commit your soul, thoughts, emotions, and concerns to God through prayer and faith. You can let it all out and trust God’s intervention. You can steal away in your mind and change the direction by replacing negative thoughts with thoughts of God’s love and power! There is a place of peace and assurance that comes from God alone. Be still.
Prayer: Lord, help me recognize situations I cannot do anything about. Give me wisdom to make decisions and do what I can. The rest I leave in your hands. Amen.
excerpt from: African American History Month Daily Devotions 2014 by Angela Roberts Jones. Copyright©2013 by Abingdon Press. Used with permission.