peace be still

Peace be still.
Say the words and I will
Set my feet upon the sea
Till I'm dancing in the deep.
- lyrics from Peace Be Still by Andrew Holt Music

What is it about the ocean anyway? It's always the place I'm drawn to when out in nature. If given the choice between a lake, mountain or ocean, my choice is always ocean. Even when it comes to worship songs - it's the one that use water and ocean as imagery that pierce me to the core. While I could invite you on an internal journey to figure out why, I'm going to accept it as the way God speaks to me and be just fine with it! 

Thankfully, I live in a beautiful part of the country that offers some stunning options for being near the ocean. On days when I am feeling heavy or burdened, I come to the ocean and am reminded of God's power. When I am feeling joyful and just want some fresh air, I get to sense the joy of the Lord mingling with my own. Lately, with all that has been going on, I took a day to get close to the water. Usually I have a friend along with me but, on this day, I knew it needed to be just me. And it was perfect. There is nothing quite like removing oneself from the busy to expose, and reveal, what God wants one to hear in the quiet. 

Most of the beaches here in Northwest Washington are quite rocky. The only time we see the sand is while the tide is out. So, going for a stroll can be quite tricky if there aren't any man-made trails or boardwalks. The beach I chose to visit is also a wildlife preserve so, no trails or boardwalks - just legit rocks everywhere. I am uber uncoordinated too so, walking on these beaches proves to be fun for me, as well as, onlookers as I slip and slide. When I finally found a nice boulder to sit on, it was time to listen. And God was loud and clear. 

Four things I heard: 1) The victory is HIS and HE has already won. 2) Peace. 3) Faith. 4) Action.

This battle that I seem to have taken on has already been won by Him. While I can relate it, heavily, to my current circumstances, I know that this applied to anything that comes my way in life. Whether it is a pandemic, racial unrest or whatever - it's a battle that God has already taken part in and He is victorious. With that victory comes a few things - peace, faith and action. Because He has already won, I can have peace of mind. I can have faith that He is a mighty God. His victory has paved the way for my faith and, with that faith, comes action. Because faith without action is dead. (James 2:17)

So many times I have asked for peace, not realizing that more is to come. More what? More sorrow. More grief. More pain. More tribulation. More persecution. 

More life

There is always more. It may seem, in the moment, that it is the worst thing ever but, in reality, we are not promised peace on this earth. We are told there will be trouble. (John 16:33) And that trouble comes in many forms. Not only that but, it can be masked by looking really good. The enemy is prowling looking to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8) Naturally, he would want to use anything and everything to trip us up and catch us in his snare. He will use lies and deception and, because of that, we must be prepared. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

As I was reading scripture for this post, my eyes grew wide in wonder because, wouldn't you just know it - God just knows how to communicate to His children in an incredible way. It's like a giant connect the dot puzzle and I imagine Him, clasping His hands in delight, when we get those dots connected to see what He is telling or showing us. In this season, He has done just that and it is so relevant in this season and the many more that are to come. 

When we connect the dots of scripture, we are given tools to:
  • Remind us truth. Sprinkled in scripture are reminders of God's sovereignty. He is ruler, creator and King over all. His love reaches farther than we can comprehend. 
    • Colossians 1:16-17
    • Isaiah 45:7-9
    • Job 42:2
    • Proverbs 16:33
    • 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
    • John 6:44 
  • Equip us. In scripture, we are given ways to prepare, to suit up, to live a life that is ready to defend and resist the enemies schemes. 
    • Ephesians 6:10-18
    • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
    • Romans 12:1-21
    • Galatians 5:22-23
  • Command us. We are given the guidelines to live a life of purpose, faith and Godliness. In the Word of God, He tells us the values and morals we need to uphold in order to be a light to those around us.
    • Matthew 22:34-40
    • Ephesians 4:17-32
    • Philippians 2:14-15
    • Leviticus 20:7-8
    • Colossians 3:12
God knew what we would need to live in this world. All that is needed is found in His Word. How wonderful is that? 

At the beginning of this, I mention that being near the ocean is the most meaningful for me when spending time with Jesus. Likewise, stories that involve water, in the Bible, are most meaningful as well. Specifically the story of Jesus calming the storm. It is found in Matthew, Mark and Luke but, I especially love the account found in Mark 4. He records Jesus saying to the storm, in verse 39, "Peace! Be still!" And, what does the storm do? It becomes still. Just by those three words that Jesus speaks. 
Then, he follow that up with these words: "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?"

With this verse, I can look at my virtual storms that come in this lifetime. I'm sure you can think of some of your own storms - when you felt out of control and, quite frankly, scared. I've experienced that the past few months and God continually reminds me He has it in control. The victory is His. I just need to have faith. 

Oh it sounds so easy, doesn't it? Just have faith! But we know that it isn't always that easy. Our faith can get shaken to the core and questions begin. Doubt and fear take over and, pretty soon, the storm is threatening to capsize our life. In that moment, Jesus says, "Peace! Be Still!" 

I hope you find as much comfort as I have in these words. Yes, my faith gets shaken but, I am so thankful for a gracious Father in heaven who already knows that will happen. Oh He has so much grace and compassion for His children. So, I am going to continue to keep heading towards the ocean because I want to be reminded of this truth over and over - 

God is victorious. He has won. I just need to be still and believe. 

The waters look a little less treacherous right now. 


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