Peace! Be Still!
Katie Harmon-McLaughlin of Sacramento, CA, USA
He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” -Mark 4:39-40
Sometimes my inner world is a wind-tossed sea. Often, I have been the disciple clinging to the side of the boat in fear or dread. When a pulsing anxiety overwhelms, I forget the slumbering Jesus in my own being, neglect to trust his presence or call upon his name.
Amid the choppy waters of my own soul, I repeat Jesus’ proclamation as a prayer phrase, a promise, a plea, “Peace! Be still!” Gradually, in me, the winds begin to ease and the waves slow to a gentler rhythm. In the Spirit’s presence, I rest for a time in the calm.
Countless times, I have imagined this scene as a way of confronting inner turmoil and inviting the peace of Christ to be present within. Though this text has provided comfort, it also issues a challenge. “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” asks Christ, again and again into the circumstances of our lives. Still, in our storms we cling to our boats in fear. Still, he comes and calms them, proclaiming, “Peace.”
Even greater is the challenge to share the peace of Jesus Christ amid the storms we encounter in our relationships, communities, and around the globe. Often one calm presence in a difficult time can be enough to bring needed ease. Consider those people in your own life who have been an anchor when the seas of life became too choppy to navigate alone.
Sometimes the storms are within us, and sometimes the storms are around us. Wherever you encounter your storms, may you find renewed faith in the One who proclaims peace and brings calm amid our doubt and fears.
Wherever I am, God is here.
Breathe deeply and prayerfully consider the story you have just read. What is the Spirit’s invitation to you in these words? What does it look like to wake up to God’s presence in this moment?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.