‘A’ only matters with ‘B’
We moved into a new home mid-August. It’s a dream place for us, and as soon as we sell our old house – yes, we’re those people – we’ll be able to celebrate even more.
We’re probably 80% moved in with the other 20% being primarily the piles of art and pictures that either need to be declared an ultra-mod house-maze or actually put on the walls and my new, fabulous, amazing, dreamy office / sewing room / crafting spot that needs to realize its full potential since, at the moment, it looks like the ‘before’ picture from some hoarding show … that was visited by the Tasmanian Devil.
One of the art pieces to hang is a beautiful piece from naptimediaries with Psalm 46:5 on it: “God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.”
As I framed that print today to make it ready to be hung, I decided to read it fresh in my Bible. Beautiful. Then my eyes drifted down to one of the most famous verses in all of Scripture, Psalm 46:10: “Cease striving and know that I am God.”
Yes, Lord. Help me be still. Help me cease striving and know that you are God. Yes.
That’s what most of us know; it’s what most of us think of when we read Psalm 46:10. We ingest those words and somehow always a huge sigh of relief follows. We exhale deeply and want to rest in that truth, which is great. Or is it?
There’s more there, and we are all too ready to gloss over it when in fact, it’s the meat, the main dish. As it turns out – and I have no idea why this didn’t cement in my head any of the other dozens of times I’ve read Psalm 46:10 – part A (“Cease striving and know that I am God”) is only powerful in light of part B!
God pulls this on us all the time in Scripture. Take John 3:16, for instance. If everyone only knew of John 3:16a, then what would be known is: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” It’s wonderful that God loved the world greatly and remarkable that He sent His Son to be among us, yes. But salvation and hope and light and the promises of eternity come when we finish the verse, when we pair part A with part B: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (emphasis mine)
The same is true of Psalm 46:10, and when I read it today, it hit me between the eyes, not because it’s unusual to read the message of this second part in Scripture but because of its proximity to the first and what part B says that part A really means. The second half of that verse says, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” And so all together, the verse flows like this: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Did you catch it? I can’t believe how often I’ve missed it. Right there, in plain view for us all to see is the God of the universe saying, “Take it easy. I’m in charge. I will be exalted. You can take a breath and take a break and know that I love you, that I appreciate your work for Me; but know that you need a break. And more to the point, know that when you take a break, that does not mean that My name – My name which is above all other names – will somehow suffer. Breathe Me in and know that I am with you, I am for you, I am in control, and from sun up to sun down, no. matter. what. I will be exalted. All over the earth. So breathe. Rest in Me. Remember that I am here for you because I love you, and that you do good for Me in this world because you love Me; that is all beautiful. But what matters most to Me is that you know that I. Am. God. I am the Great I AM. And if you run yourself into the ground in My name, it will be because you have made it more about you and have lost sight of the fact that I. Am. God. And that no matter what – this isn’t a hope of Mine or a long-range plan of Mine; this is truth – I. will. be. exalted. among. the. nations. Understand part A of this comfort to you as you realize the truth of part B of My declaration. And child, sweet, precious child of Mine, rest in Me. I will be fine; I will be exalted. Right now, you need to rest in Me.”
And all God’s people said, “Amen.”