Cease Striving

Written by Heather Broughman

 “Cease striving and know that I am God,” “CEASE STRIVING and KNOW that I am GOD.” Psalm 46:10. 

Whether in a season of waiting, chasing a dream, or even when it comes to flowing in the creative, many times we find ourselves striving. Most of the time it happens before we even know it, and then we find ourselves frustrated, exhausted, and wondering why after exerting so much effort and energy, we have nothing to show for it. 

When I look at Psalm 46:10, “Cease striving…,” I think there may be a tendency to view it as a rebuke. A calling down for bad behavior. But what if it’s not? What if it is actually a calling up into something greater? An invitation to stop striving and to enter into the rest of knowing who God is and inviting Him into whatever situation we are up against. 

In studying this verse, I discovered that the phrase, “cease striving” or “be still,” actually means to let fall, let hang, to be relaxed, slackened, especially in the hands. Wow! Are you familiar with the phrase, “white knuckling?” It’s a phrase that is literally derived from the way your knuckles grow lighter in color when you are hanging onto something with all of your might. That’s what comes to mind for me when I think of striving, holding on for dear life. And what’s even more interesting is that when our hands are clenched like that physically, we actually restrict the flow of blood. I think the same can be true in the Spiritual when we are STRIVING. 

In striving, we cut off the flow of God’s GRACE, His empowerment for us to do the things He calls us to. We cut off His help, and instead take the full weight or burden that we have on our own shoulders. We stop the flow of creativity and ideas that we need to create and dream, and this is how we end up frustrated, spent, and exhausted with nothing to show for it. 

Whatever you’re facing right now, receive God’s invitation to you to “Cease striving, be still, and know that I am God.” Remember His strength, His might, and His grace. Rest in who He is. Invite Him in and let Him shoulder the weight of what you’ve been carrying. Let His grace, love, and creativity flow freely in your life today! 

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