“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39
Like many of you, I am not one to sit around and allow things to come to me. But, this verse in Mark tells me that sometimes, sleeping or “doing nothing” is all we can do. I am learning this lesson. After we have done all the work; applied for the jobs, put the offer down, hired the lawyer, planted the seeds, and there is nothing else left to do, we must be still. Being still is not necessarily the absence of physical movement, but rather we have come to a place of peace in our minds. That satisfying, settling contentment of knowing we are no longer in control. We can rest and leave the outcome to the elements.
For Christians, this is where we say, God is in control and we can trust in Him. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you“ Isaiah 26:4. How do we know that we have done everything? According to the same parable in Mark 4, these fishermen could not stop the great wind storm and prevent the waves from beating on their boats. They were the expert and I imagined they did everything until there was nothing else to do, but come to a sleeping Jesus and said, “…Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” That’s when Jesus woke up and “…rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace be still!” v39.
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Why was Jesus sleeping? Maybe He wanted them to have faith that they could speak to storms themselves. Or maybe He wanted them to be like little children and come to Him first when they needed help. To that point He responded to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” v40. In either case, they were fearful and frantic while Jesus was resting in stillness. He intuitively knew that He had the power to still the storms of life and therefore was not worried that He was in the middle of a great windstorm.
Can we exercise the same faith when we are going through our proverbial storms? Maybe we know that we have done everything after we have given our problems to Jesus. It is then we can step back and let Him carry us safely to shore while we rest in stillness.
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This year, I have exercised this lesson in my life. Moments when I would have just freaked out because I didn’t know what else to do, I exercised calmness. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7. There is a peace that comes after you accept that you are not in control that is so overwhelming. It almost makes you feel like you are floating up to heaven, or that you are walking on clouds. There is a flow that comes…things simply fall into place. And the best part is that it feels like, you didn’t do anything. Like, the right opportunities are miraculously finding you.
Before this happens though, the storms can potentially take you out. They can be so powerful they make you give up, walk away, or curse the very people that the opportunities will come through. This is why we need to be still. We can be the sabbotagers of our destinies. Imagine if the disciples decided to jump off the boat because they felt that was their only option? Who knows what would have happened then? Would they have lived to tell the story?
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So, for this month I am helping you to see that stillness can be good. It too will lead to our many successes. No, this is not the typical message in this generation, but the truth is, Jesus asks us to do unconventional things. You will quickly see how much better it is to be still rather than having a panic attack every time we think things are not going right. Try it.