Quiet! Be Still!
As a birthday present my Son gave me a copy of Rembrandt’s painting “The storm on the Sea of Galilee” with Jesus and his disciples. Jesus was asleep in the stern of the boat while the 12 were struggling to keep the ship afloat. “Teacher,” they cried, “do you not care that we are perishing”? A very similar portrayal we all might yell out as the many different storms may suddenly come upon any of us. This artist portrayed a multi-directional view of reality that can confront persons when caught in the turbulence of life’s unexpected occurrences.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of bad news for most people to experience what may very well be identified as a storm in their lives. I myself was given the diagnosis of Prostate cancer, and even though it was not unexpected, the news left some questions. However it has been 27 years since the surgery; leaving me cancer-free. The words Quiet! Be still rang in my mind.
One daily communicant at our church recently was told he has Prostate Cancer and I personally told him about mine, and assured him that God would be with him. It’s like the words Quiet! Be still are his mantra.
A close relative has been hit with the news that his son is living an addictive life, spending money on drugs and gambling which was for a house payment, and of course is in total denial. Working with women in recovery in Midland, Texas and later in Swissvale, PA I learned the pattern of addiction and realize the grip these maladies have on peoples’ weaknesses. The words Quiet! Be still are a necessity here.
Another close relative who refuses to get vaccinated is on the edge of being fired. What, only three who have been hit squarely in the face with the wind and turbulence of a storm?
To put storms into perspective, look at ourselves and reflect back on even one tine that the bad news of one close to us died suddenly, or your employment disappeared without any warning. Most people will not have the same let-down in life as their neighbor, but it is an unfortunate experience that faces most people.
The answer to the above examples is as Jesus said when he confronted the storm; he woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” Then said to them, “Why are you so terrified”? I am here! It is not a hyper-bole when we call on the Lord in our deepest fear from the storm in our life.
For the man with Prostate cancer, we must take his hand and say Quiet to the cancer, be still I am here. That won’t eradicate the cancer, but will help subside the waves of doubt. To the Father who has never experienced this reversal of disloyalty from a child must stop, and listen to these words of Quiet, Be still, why do you doubt my concern for you. This will not become a type of recovery for his son, but certainly will give this father a strength he couldn’t find living a fear-filled going nowhere attitude.
For the one who may lose their employment from a county-run entity for not adhering to the vaccine mandate the words of Jesus to the storm will have an impact on the punishing blast of government rules that attempt to rule all of us; Quiet! the powers that be and be still to those who choose the right road for them individually. Jesus is the calm of the storm, and his grace guides our path through faith.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Storms that confront our faith