Be Still

by Diana C. Derringer


“Be still, and know that I am God”

(Psalm 46:10, NIV).


I doubt I’m alone in occasionally feeling like a hamster on a wheel, running as fast as I can but getting nowhere. Much of my busyness relates to family, church, and work, all wholesome activities that fuel my writing. Nevertheless, their worth does little to diminish my fatigue.

Keeping Up with Daily Demands

The minute I wake, thoughts start tumbling. I make lists, categorize, and prioritize. I plan and dream. Then reality hits.

  • The crazy ups and downs that stem from a large extended family
  • The daily and nightly emergencies as a former social worker
  • The weekly dose of enthusiasm from a middle school Sunday school class
  • The kaleidoscope of individuals encountered as an adjunct professor
  • The simultaneous uplift and heartbreak of volunteer missions
  • The wonder of exploring God’s creation
  • The unexpected joy as an American mom to international university students
  • The life lessons learned from a deluge of difficulties

Despite using several time-saving tools, some nights I fall into bed exhausted with my mind still spinning.

Slowing Down for the Greater Good

When futility peaks, I realize what’s missing: time alone with God. So I draw away from everything and listen to the quiet, with God in its midst.

As I close my eyes, the tension slowly drains. Shoulders fall, breathing slows, and muscles relax. I lose sight of the stacks of notes that demand attention. I no longer hear the phone’s rings and pings.

By briefly abandoning all that begs for attention and basking in the Lord’s presence, God reveals the ideas and direction I’d sought for hours on my own.

From that recurring pattern grew the following poem.


Be Still

No e-mail, no IM, no games.

No texting, no TV, no tweets.

No talk, no travel, no phone.

No sports, no music, no books.

No visits, no shopping, no plans.

Just stillness

and quiet

and calm.

Now I hear you, God.


Close your eyes and mind to the world around you. Allow God to transport you into sacred realms prepared especially for you. Perhaps then, as I have learned, you too will be ready to write.

God, still our minds. Reveal yourself and your will. Amen.



Diana Derringer, a former social worker and adjunct professor, is an award-winning writer and author of Beyond Bethlehem and Calvary: 12 Dramas for Christmas, Easter, and More! Her articles, devotions, dramas, planning guides, Bible studies, and poems appear in more than 40 publications. Her radio dramas for Christ to the World Ministries broadcast into several countries. Visit her at




*This devotional first appeared in Alive Now, reprint rights offered. Copyright 2011 Diana C. Derringer


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