“Hey Rachel… hey, hey Rachel…”
A sweet little girl’s voice, accompanied by an insistent shaking of my body, interrupted my peaceful slumber the other morning. At first my tired body rebelled at the thought of waking up any earlier than I need to, so I shrugged off the hand, and snuggled down deeper into my pillow. ” “HEY, R-A-C-H-E-L! I have someping to tell you!”
I rolled over and opened my eyes to find myself face-to-face with my three year old sister, Melinda. Her countenance lit up over her success at waking me; and climbing up on top of me, she proceeded to tell me her “someping”.? Apparently, her Bible lesson at church the night before, had been on the account of Jesus calming the angry storm. Melinda’s teacher had brought several neat visual demonstrations, and she was excitedly filling me in on all the details. I confess, I hadn’t been giving her my strictest attention. I mean, after all, I was still busy sending distress signals to my brain to communicate with my body that I REALLY WAS AWAKE!? However, this changed when she grabbed my focus with this sweet, child-like sentence. “And Rachel, I can be just like Jesus… uh-huh… I can say (*with voice raised*) ‘Please be still!’…” ” I laughed at her mispronunciation of the phrase “PEACE be still”, kissed the top of her golden head, and sent her on her way. Yet throughout the day, that little phrase of hers kept coming back and chanting through my mind. You know, that little 3-year old kind of said something profound … ” I think we all have times in our lives where we feel like we’re spinning in circles at a should-totally-be illegal/ WAY-too-fast speed.
I know that I personally experience periods of time where “every” project HAS to completed (NOW!), “everyone” needs an answer (NOW!), there’s a confusing sense of ‘having too much of my plate’, and I feel like I’m bleeding from a spiritual surgery. Just when it seems like things couldn’t get much worse … WHAM! Something big (really big) hits me smack in the middle of my face (so-to-speak). I sometimes wonder why in the world God didn’t leave us a remote control so we can push “pause” on life, and get a chance to ‘regroup’ a little. ” But wait, maybe He has … ” Most of us are familiar with the story Melinda was referring to. Jesus and His disciples were out on the sea in a boat. A storm hit and the sailors found themselves among a tempestuous array of angry waves and heavy rain. During the midst of their fight for life, one of the men noticed that Jesus lay asleep. In desperation, they awoke the One who, with power and authority, rebuked the sea and calmed the storm. “Peace be still” were His words, and His creation instantly obeyed. Wow!
What power our Saviour displayed that stormy night. What a neat story to remember. How sad that so many people leave it as just that – a ‘neat story’ that happened back in Bible times. So many people neglect to claim that power that’s not just limited to 2,000 years ago. My friend, Jesus still calms storms! Yes, the literal water-and-lightening ones … but also (praise be!) He can tame the emotional and spiritual ones in our lives. He can absolutely come with authority and rebuke the ‘angry waves’ that seem ready to crash down on us with terrifying force. ” Sometimes we act and think as if Jesus is sound asleep on this boat of life.
I wonder why we (why I!) spend so much time and effort vainly struggling by ourselves? We’re like those sailors so long ago: fighting for life amid the storm. Gasping for breath … trying to find sense in this confusing, mind-boggling mess. Are we so full of pride that we can’t admit we need help??? Do we even believe that Jesus really CAN help?
What holds us back???
He’s not asleep. Go to Him, ask Him to calm the raging sea and quiet your confused soul. Scripture says that God does not despise the hurting heart … He is NEAR and READY to help- He wants to help. Many times He’s held back by our lack of dependence on Him. That crazy self pride that tries to convince us that we can handle it by ourselves (just for the record, we can’t!?) …
The deep-down-never-dared uttered fear that maybe He won’t really come to our rescue (just for the record, HE WILL!?).
Back to Melinda … remember how I mentioned she’d said something profound? Her words were: “I can be just like Jesus”… You know, she’s right. When storms hit us, we absolutely need to run to Jesus and get HIS power. But then, sometimes we’re expected to turn around and USE that power. Resist Satan, quench his fiery darts. Cast down those discouraging thoughts that are trying to control you. Yield to the fruits of the Spirit- joy and peace. You may not be able to ‘fix’ the circumstances, but you don’t have to be destroyed by them. You can at least control your attitude.
This is our little ‘pause button’ so-to-speak. Whenever one of those “WHAM situations” hit us, we don’t have to topple over from the impact. Cling to Jesus, and USE HIS POWER! One of the reasons Jesus came to earth was to give us an example. This is one of those areas. Of course you’d be a fool to tackle the wind and waves with anything less than His power. ” But I encourage you to be as smart as a three year- old…. don’t sink in the sea- be like Jesus.
Say “Please [peace?] be still!”