Be Still Before the Lord!

Bernice Divers is a woman in her eighties. She is a member of the church I pastor in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Mrs. Divers and her husband, Dr. Arthur Divers have been married over 60 years. I asked her how she and her husband met. She said it began in a church that is down the street from my church. She attended the Friendship Baptist Church where the late Rev. Louis Johnson was the pastor. One Sunday during prayer, she stood before the altar with tears streaming down her face. When the worship service concluded, she told me that Rev. Johnson approached her and asked, “Bernice, what is troubling you?” She told him that she wanted to be married, but had not met a man who seemed right for her. The response of the pastor was direct: “Bernice, be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him.”

As things turned out, a short while after her conversation with the pastor, someone introduced her to the man who would become her husband. She found him to be kind, loving, attentive and ambitious. They married, produced three children, and have shared marital harmony for over 60 years!

The advice Rev. Johnson gave Mrs. Divers is still worthwhile: “Be still before the Lord!” Patience with God can be nerve racking. God’s time is not always on the same frame as our time. We tend to want things right away. We often think we know what we want. As I look back upon many of the things that I felt did not come my way at all, or when it came my way it seemed so long, but things have always worked out for the better. In fact, I am so pleased with how things have worked out, because in hindsight, If I had gotten my way when I wanted things my way, I probably would have been disappointed. So for me, the words of David are still relevant –

Psalm 37: 7  Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What does it look like to “Be still before the Lord?”
  2. When is our “Patience” with God become an excuse for personal laziness?
  3. How should the Christian view people who “Carry out evil devices?”


Prayer: O God, today I seek to “Be still before the Lord.” Show me how to be patient, yet persistent. Teach me to be observant. Educate my ears, so I might better hear the messages you send to me. Show me a better way to follow you and not to become consumed with those who disrespect you, mock you and mistreat others. Lord, I commit my way to you. Lead me and I will follow. Guide me so I might grow. Push me, even through my patience to love my neighbor as I love myself. Teach me to be still as I wait for you. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 37:7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.