Be Still My Soul

Lisa wiped the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand so she could see the road as she sped down the open highway. She tried to hide her tears from her son, Jack, seated quietly in the front seat next to her.

About a year ago, she became involved with a man, who promised her the world. When he got a job in a city on the other side of the state, she went with him. At five months pregnant with his child, she never imagined he would walk out on her, taking with him all her money, credit cards and all her dreams. She couldn’t fathom bringing a child into the world now that her life was in chaos.

Abandoned and pregnant in an unfamiliar place with no friends, no proof of identification, and no resources, she was running low on hope. Now at her wits end, she drove aimlessly. She thought if she just drove away, somehow she could leave all her problems behind. Yet the longer she drove, the heavier the burdens weighed on her. Her son, noticing her tears, pleaded, “Don’t cry, Mommy. Our angels will take care of us. God is with us. Just be still.” A wave of peace filled her and she pulled the car over to the side of the road to pray. In her distress, faith was not an easy thing to find, and prayer was something she neglected.

Often times, a relationship with the Lord seems easy when everything is going well, but what about the hard times? Where is God then? We are not alone in feeling this way; the Apostles of Jesus once faced a similar situation:

“On that day, when evening had come, He [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took Him with them in the boat, just as He was… A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:35-38)

In their hour of greatest need, Jesus was asleep? His chosen band was about to be lost at sea. The waves crashed, threatening to sink them, and Jesus rested comfortably on a pillow, seemingly oblivious to the problems and not offering help. Sometimes, when overwhelmed or faced with suffering, we too question why the Lord seems to be asleep.

Even amid the turbulence, Jesus is always united to the will of His Father. He knows when storms arise in our lives, they are part of His bigger plan for our good. The disciples spent themselves trying to save their ship, to no avail, against a power greater than them, one they could never defeat on their own.

Once we come to the point of surrender, and humbly admit that we cannot control everything, then we make room for the Lord to step in and reveal His providence and saving power. We can work arduously to fix every problem with our own strength, but we will exhaust ourselves and stay caught in the tempest unless we call on Jesus.

“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?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4:39-41)

“Peace! Be still!” Was He speaking to the wind and the waves, or to the disciples? Whatever is happening in our lives externally, let us strive to preserve peace and trust in the Lord’s presence with us. He is still in the boat with us, and will never abandon us.

Lisa and Jack, on the side of the highway, cried out in prayer to the Lord for help. She found peace and calm in her soul as she asked God to take control of their lives. Shortly after, Lisa got in touch with an acquaintance, a Co-Worker of Life, who encouraged her to call us at our Visitation Mission. Though she was in another state and unable to meet with us in person, I was privileged to speak with Lisa on the phone, pray with her, offer referrals for housing and connect her with a local crisis pregnancy center. There she met supportive and loving people, who assisted her with her needs and helped her get back on her feet.

As Lisa recounted her story, I was touched by her receptivity to grace and openness to faith. Though once desperate, and uncertain of her future, this young woman was now telling me confidently of God’s Providence in her life. She said, “Sister, when the Lord sends us things in life that test us, it’s because He wants us to have an amazing testimony to share with the world of His faithfulness.”

Psalm 46 entreats us to, “Be still and know that I am God.” In wake of the storms of life we can be still and call on the Lord of the Universe, He Whom the winds and the seas obey, to come to our rescue and bring calm to our weary souls.