This is a beautiful book, to be kept, treasured and returned to again and again. Searles, who is based in Oxford and works for the South Central Gospel Partnership, offers us a devotional drawn from the Psalms. However, unlike Tim Keller's My Rock, My Refuge, which covers the whole Psalter in 366 daily readings, Be Still covers just four Psalms - 16, 27, 34 and 147 - in 40 two-page chapters, taking just one or two verses at a time.
Searles' insights seem to me to be true to the original text, but also sensitive to New Testament and Christian insights, so as to offer moving contemporary understandings and applications. Searles' intention is that the book is read slowly and meditatively, a chapter a day, which makes it appropriate to use during Lent or another 40-day period of focussed prayer and meditation. There is plenty of rich food for the soul here!
However, three of the Psalms - 16, 27 and 34 - are in many ways quite similar to each other, as individual Psalms of faith and trust, while 147 is a Psalm of praise. This does mean that none of the Psalms of lament and complaint are not covered, and yet they are a crucial component of the whole Psalter - and vital as part of our own spiritual lives. Perhaps Searles could write a second volume, offering similar devotions on the likes of Psalms 22, 44 and 88?
But, nevertheless, Be Still is well worth obtaining and using for the deepening of your faith in Jesus Christ.
Chris Knights, Lordshill Church of England, Southampton