Be Still

“As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!””

Mark 4:35-41 NLT

When reading the passage of Scripture where Jesus calms the waves, it comes alive as a visual in my head. I can just see the disciples in that moment. Frantic. Terrified. Overcome with anxiety. They are in the midst of a storm with no escape. And Jesus was in the back of the boat asleep. How nonchalant. 

As they are no doubt scrambling to do all they can to keep the boat from sinking, their fear gives way to frustration (and maybe a tinge of sarcasm) as they yelled, “Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” to their sleeping beauty of a rabbi. And then, just as calmly as he was sleeping, with great authority, he demands the winds and waves to be still. And just like that, the seas were calm. 

Instantaneous peace. 

Is this not a perfect representation of how we can get so consumed with the storm of life that we miss the peace that’s within our reach? When we are in the midst of a struggle, hardship, or just plain worried about x,y,z – we can so easily get overwhelmed. We can find ourselves in a ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ type of moment. I can get so distracted by the what if’s and the could be’s that I spiral into thinking of the worst possible scenario. And if I allow my mind to stay there, well, my friend, it can get dark and hopeless REAL quick. 

But God – who is faithful to His Word – can be found even there, in the dark and hopeless moments. In the season of anxiety. He can be found when we’re angry or frustrated about the state of our lives. When we aren’t sure what to do next because our buckets are overflowing. Our boat is sinking, or at least it feels like it. In these moments, an authoritative “peace, be still” from Jesus can calm the raging storm. Maybe it doesn’t change our circumstances , but it can change our hearts. It can shift our perspective. 

Let’s take a look at a couple additional places in the Bible where the phrase “be still” can be found:

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!  A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. ”

Psalms 46:1-11 NLT

“Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.”

Psalms 37:1-7 NLT

As we read these particular passages, they are all about reminding us to remember who God is. In moments where we need to be reminded of who He is, I believe it’s critical that we recognize that God is faithful. 

“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NLT

“Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:7-9 NLT

“He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!”

Deuteronomy 32:4 NLT

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”

Psalms 107:1 NLT

He has carried you through thus far, and His character can be counted upon. He is true to His Word. The Lord is faithful. His faithful love, His unending love – it will not fail. It will not fall short.   Be still, and find comfort in His faithful love. Ask God to show you a moment of clarity in the storm; a moment of stillness and calm. Below is a great song to listen to as you take a moment to be still.   

I AM THEY

All Along Lyrics

Be still and know

The hands that formed your heart

Won’t let you go, wont let you fall apart

You’ve never been abandoned, stranded

Or left out on your own

Turn around and open your eyes

And you’ll find

You’ve never been alone

All along

Even when your heart was barely holding on

When sorrow tried to drown your song

I heard you, held you

When your fear convinced you I was gone

My child, I was with you all along

Be still and trust

No storm can break inside

My arms of love have carried your whole life

You’ve never been abandoned, stranded 

Or left out on your own

Turn around and open your eyes

And you’ll find

You’ve never been alone

All along

Even when your heart was barely holding on

When sorrow tried to drown your song

I heard you, held you

When your fear convinced you I was gone

My child, I was with you all along

I want you to know that I am for you

To know that I adore you

To know that I will never let you go

I want you to know that I am for you

To know that I adore you

To know that I will never let you go

All along

Even when your heart was barely holding on

When sorrow tried to drown your song

I heard you, held you

When your fear convinced you I was gone

My child, I was with you all along

I was with you all along

I was with you all along

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