Peace, Be Still
Peace, be still.
I saw an image recently that had these words on it. I was inspired and created my own, with my own photography, to display in my home,
during the Christmas season, but probably after too, because I like how it turned out and the message that it represents.
This phrase comes from the New Testament. When Christ was on the boat with His disciples, crossing the Sea of Galilee. The waves began to crash and the disciples were frightened. They called to the Savior for help.
“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?
He calmed the storm and the disciples fear and concern.
There are a couple of other experiences directly after this in the book of Mark, where Jesus is bestowing peace, and stillness.
He casts out devils in a man as they arrived at their destination in Gadarenes.
He establishes peace in the life of this man who is possessed by evil.
As they arrive back on the other side Jesus heals Jarius' daughter from death.
He calms Jarius, as he had patiently waited, while the Savior attended to the woman 'with issue of blood for 12 years', then got word that his daughter had died.
Before Christ performed that miracle, He established peace in Jarius' house, by getting rid of 'the tumult', anything that didn't belong.
These three experiences all together show us that
- Christ has power over the elements, the earth
- Christ has ultimate power over evil, Satan and those that follow him
- Christ has power over death, he has power in life as well
Why are we fearful? Him that we follow, has power over all!
President Howard W. Hunter gave a talk in October 1684 called: Master, The Tempest Is Raging.
All of us have seen some sudden storms in our lives. A few of them, though temporary like these on the Sea of Galilee, can be violent and frightening and potentially destructive. As individuals, as families, as communities, as nations, even as a church, we have had sudden squalls arise which have made us ask one way or another, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” And one way or another we always hear in the stillness after the storm, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”
None of us would like to think we have no faith, but I suppose the Lord’s gentle rebuke here is largely deserved. This great Jehovah, in whom we say we trust and whose name we have taken upon us, is he who said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” (Gen. 1:6.) And he is also the one who said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.” (Gen. 1:9.) Furthermore, it was he who parted the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to pass through on dry ground. (See Ex. 14:21–22.) Certainly it should be no surprise that he could command a few elements acting up on the Sea of Galilee.
And our faith should remind us that he can calm the troubled waters of our lives.
On the Sea of Galilee, the stirring of the disciples’ faith was ultimately more important than the stilling of the sea...
I love that statement oh so very much. Sometimes the stirring of our faith is necessary.
In each of the examples noted above all knew where to seek refuge, to find peace. They sought out the Savior.
We will all have some adversity in our lives. Some of it will have the potential to be violent and damaging and destructive. Some of it may even strain our faith in a loving God who has the power to administer relief in our behalf.
Peace was on the lips and in the heart of the Savior no matter how fiercely the tempest was raging. May it so be with us—in our own hearts, in our own homes, in our nations of the world, and even in the buffetings faced from time to time by the Church. We should not expect to get through life individually or collectively without some opposition.
One of the wisest of the ancient Romans once spoke a great gospel truth and probably never realized he had done so. Speaking of Roman naval power and the absolute imperative to control the oceans, Cicero said to a military aide, “He who commands the sea has command of everything.”
Peace, be still. In a time that hustle and bustle, noise and commotion are all a flutter, find time to stop, be still. I think if we can make that effort we will find that peace is our reward.
Here are the two printables I made, as a reminder.
Winter is a time in nature of stillness and quiet to me. That is why I selected these photographs.