Terrifying Peace

Stress.  Finances.  Death.  Illness.  Parenting.  Busyness. Life’s demands can pile up until I feel caught in the vortex of an emotional storm that threatens to take me down.  Sometimes the threat is very real, & sometimes it is exaggerated by my haggard state of mind.  But if I’m honest — bare, vulnerable, bleeding honest — as I examine what the scriptures say and what I claim to believe, I’m either a shamefaced hypocrite or I have faith that Jesus can say 2 words.

Be. Still.

The storm might end abruptly, or it might keep swirling around me as I kneel in the back of the boat – soaked, bedraggled, humbled, bruised, overcome by a peace that commands attention.  Like the disciples, I’m faced with the truth.  Truth that was sleeping in the back of my boat until I came to my senses and cried out, “Don’t you care if I drown?”

Truth stares me in the face and asks, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

I am silenced by the truth.

Mark 4:41 records, “They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’ ”  The storm had come suddenly, requiring all their focus and effort.  When they had exhausted all their resources, ideas, & strength and come to the utter end of themselves, they formed a Desperation Committee and took a vote as to who should wake up Jesus… not.  They came to their senses, having already been stripped of all pride, and cried out to Him!  He calmed the storm, and THEN they were terrified.  They recognized His power and were undone.  

I am terrified by His power.  

Yes, Lord, I do have faith.  But if I cry out to You and You wipe away the storm, what will be left between my naked guilt and Your penetrating, all-powerful truth? If You heal my storm, what distractions can I hide behind?  If I’m still – REALLY STILL – what will You ask of me?

I know You.  You will be with me in the boat, but You will sail in dangerous places and I will get wet and wind-blown and weathered.  You will ask hard questions.  You will rearrange the furniture.  You will sweep away false security, idols, useless thinking.  You will take over.

Your peace is a dangerous peace.  It’s a peace that laughs at roaring lions and slithering serpents. It’s a peace that renders useless and irrelevant everything that stood in its path.  It’s a peace that reveals Your power in a whisper that could level the landscape.  It’s a peace that knows my name, and that is terrifying.

I fear You more than the storm.  I surrender.