Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Peace, Be Still

I'm reading a book about Fear. What am I afraid of?

If you've been reading my blog, you'll remember that I talked about this last spring too. If you'd seen me last night, clenching my teeth and curling my toes, tucked in tightly under my covers, you'd know. Really bad thunderstorms at night that can lead to tornadoes.

The storm lasted all night, and I don't think I slept a wink. I just listened to it get closer, then farther away, then closer... on and on it went. Some of the Booms shook the house, making me feel like the little pig in the house of sticks. We are in the noisiest room too, because the rain bounces off of our neighbor's roof and pelts our bedroom wall.

I sat awake, waiting for the sound of the siren, making plans for how to get my children downstairs and in a safe place, just in case.

Have I ever been in a tornado? No. Then where do these fears come from, that seem to get worse at night in the dark?

I was sitting at the window, watching the trees blow in circles. The thunder was so loud I actually jumped. It just looked like God was angry, bellowing out his fierceness on our city. His power. His might.

I'm almost 30 years old, and I'm afraid of thunder. What is my problem?

Then I remembered when God gave the Israelites the law. He came upon the mountain, and it trembled and quaked and there was thunder and lightening. I don't think the flannel graphs in Sunday School did this scene justice! If it was anything like what I was watching outside, I would have ran away in fear too! And I'd imagine it was even worse!

How did Jesus react to the storms? When the boat was on the water, and the disciples were running around, getting soaking wet, fighting the wind and pelting rain just to stand erect, Jesus was sleeping. With three words, he calmed the sea. "Peace, Be Still."

Being God, Jesus knows who controls the sea. Who tells it to stop. Who commands the thunder to yell from the heavens. Who directs the lightening bolts. Who spins the air and lets loose the hail. He knows where the snows are stored and how fast the floods will rise. He knows all this, and with this knowledge, He slept.

Oh, to have that kind of faith! To rest in the knowledge that God is in control, even in the thunderstorm. I tried to focus on that last night, although the random loud bursts occasionally started me awake.

So I guess I'm more like the Israelites. When confronted with the mightyness and power of God, like the hymn writer, "Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble."

I'll end this entry with a great hymn: I Sing the Mighty Power of God

I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at God’s command, and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.

There’s not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.

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