Be Still My Soul: A Cure for Panic

Be Still

Be still my soul is a cure for panic.

At 8:07am on January 13, 2018, the population of Hawaii was propelled into abject panic and confusion by a text message that the state government sent out in error:  “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

Hawaii is located 4,600 miles (7,400 km) from North Korea, so a launched missile could conceivably hit within 15 minutes.

A friend shared that his father had been visiting Hawaii at the time. He was standing in line at a breakfast buffet table when the locals all pulled out their phones and immediately and frantically rushed out of the dining room crying and shouting about an incoming attack. He was left alone at the table with no idea what to do next or where to go to be safe. Everyone outside was rushing around in different directions, so he didn’t know who to follow. So, you know what he did? He served himself breakfast, poured some coffee, and sat and ate it alone in the dining hall, until 38 minutes later when everyone sheepishly returned for breakfast with tear-streaked faces.

The alert was accidentally triggered when an emergency agency worker who meant to send a test message, chose “missile alert” instead of “test missile alert.”

What would you do if you found out you and everyone in your life had 15 minutes to live? Would you try to hide from the nuclear blast, would you scream and cry, or would you continue living the last 15 minutes of your life in complete peace and security, knowing that what was about to happen was out of your hands, so you might as well enjoy a final breakfast?

David has some advice to be still in Psalm 131.



Psalm 131:1 O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

The first step in ensuring genuine peace in your soul is to keep perspective. Understand where you fit in the grand scheme of things and where God fits in.

David declares that he is pursuing humility in some very practical ways:

a) he doesn’t think highly of himself, “O Lord, my heart is not lifted up”

b) he isn’t overly ambitious, “… my eyes are not raised too high; and”

c) he isn’t concerned with issues above his theological pay grade. “…I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.”