“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. 18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” Isaiah 32:17-18
An item on my bucket list is to stand on a high cliff shore in Scotland wearing a big wool turtleneck sweater with a hot cup of coffee in my hand. As I witness the powerful ocean and feel the spray of it hit my face as it crashes into the shore below, I am confident and at peace knowing I stand on a strong and high rock. Why the turtleneck sweater? I like the aesthetics of it. There could be bagpipes playing somewhere too, but I won’t be picky. To me it is a sense of the beauty and awesomeness of God’s creation. The sight and sound would awaken the soul and I feel like it would be one of the most exhilarating experiences, yet also offer a certain kind of calm knowing you are on solid ground high above the waves. Maybe I could get the same effect and cheaper in a car wash, but I digress.
Life can certainly bring its pounding waves to our shores. When it does, we do not always have the benefit of the sweater, coffee, and high cliffs to absorb the crash. While going through these seasons we want, or should I say we expect God to meet our storm with the same sense of intensity and theatrics. Fire, earthquakes, hurricane force winds would be welcomed to drive out the enemy from our camp. Good riddance! But have you noticed that though God can and will at times take our enemy out with that kind of power, He often will use something quite the opposite... Quiet!
A soul that is in trouble is a soul that needs rest. From rest is where we learn to live from faith, not by faith. Storms that pound give God the opportunity to prove no matter how loud the wind roars, or how hard the waves pound, He can give me a quiet spirit that trusts in Him. Isaiah 26:3 NIV tells us, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” This is the kind of peace Jesus had when the disciples thought they were going to drown in a storm. While the storm raged, Jesus slept. In fact, He slept amazing without the help of melatonin, lavender, or herbal teas. You can tell from that sentence that I have experienced bouts of troubled sleeping.
There is an expression, “Still waters run deep.” This means to be mature, wise, and confident. This speaks to the depth of trust that God wants to develop in us that provides strength, wisdom, and patience. It is a countenance that responds instead of reacts. I remember asking one of my mentors who is now with Jesus if he ever got shaken in his faith. He sat there in his big chair in the living room with a plethora of life experience. This guy got ran over by a tractor and lived. Most of his heart was not functioning, but the Word of God ran deep in his soul. He looked at me and said, (I paraphrase) “My faith is never shaken because I trust in His Word to bring for me His plans and victory.” Were those his thoughts when a John Deere put a hurt on him? I guess so because he was there sitting in his chair telling me to get rooted in my faith. He knew the sound and the feeling of storms hitting hard, but he knew more of the stillness in his soul given to him by Jesus that kept him anchored. When you sat with him, you were not sitting by a roaring ocean. No, instead you were by a deep, still, and quiet body of water that had unlimited power in Christ. I miss him so much.
Through Jesus, we have this peace Isaiah writes about. We have available to us a quiet rest in our spirit. We can live in confidence trusting in Jesus. If you are going through a storm, my encouragement to you is to ask God to help you be quiet in your soul. Ask for trust to be developed and a word to stand on. Though the waves rage, you in your turtleneck sweater can stand confidently high on the Rock in peace knowing you can trust in Jesus.