I awoke a few minutes early this morning (fewer minutes than I had prepared to awaken) to spend time in prayer before this crazy day began. I had trouble sleeping last night…partly because my mind was still on holiday, and partly because it was busy reclaiming issues I had placed in God’s hands earlier in that day.
After hitting the snooze button for the third time, I mustered the energy to drag my sleepy self to the living room and plop down on the couch. As I came in for a landing, my mind began whirling with the overwhelming day ahead. I immediately began laying my requests before God. So many concerns came to mind that I found myself near the point of panic. Tears streamed down my face, my heart breaking with untamed emotion.
It was at this point I experienced a moment I hope I never forget. It was as if someone firmly grasped my arms bringing me into the present quieting my mind. In the midst of the deafening silence I heard a gentle, soothing voice clearly say, “Peace, be still.” God brought to mind the events surrounding when Christ spoke this command in the days of the New Testament, “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. “And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”–Mark 4:37-40
Wow! My Heavenly Father had been up long before me, just waiting for me to come to Him. He already knew I was in the midst of the storm. He already knew the waves were beating against my ship and it was now so swamped that I could go under any minute. He wanted me to know that He has my back. He’s chillin’ in the back of my boat (okay, so I am taking a little liberty with the scripture here…). He isn’t afraid…for me or for Himself. He holds the power to calm the seas. He holds the ability to keep me safe. He keeps me safe in the roughest of waters. He keeps me safe in the darkest of nights. He keeps me safe in the strongest of winds. He even keeps me safe when walking through the valley of the shadow of death. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4
The promising command was clear, and my heart and mind could do nothing but obey. Tears ceased flowing, and a sense of strength rose from deep within. My soul drank in the peaceful quiet. Reminders of God’s faithfulness began coming to mind, and requests were followed by thanksgiving and praise. I was reminded anew that God is in control, and I have only begun to know the wonders of His matchless grace and love.
My heart still aches, my anxious soul still seeks wisdom, but in the midst of it all I know I can rest in the fact that I am held fast in my Father’s arms, that He understands all I feel and that I can entrust all those I love into His loving care.