When I was a new mom, I met an Irish woman at church named Rosie. She had flaming red hair kept in a pixie cut. Her sense of humor was razor-sharp, and she held a wealth of wisdom in her petite frame.
At the time, Tim was taking a full load of classes at seminary and working fulltime at the hospital. Most of my days consisted of just Justin and me. I noticed that Justin started to misbehave in the late afternoon, making the home stretch to bedtime feel like an eternity. One day, I shared my concern with Rosie. She looked me in the eyes, and with empathy, she said something to the effect of, “Missy, no wonder. the hours from 5:00-7:00 pm are known as the arsenic hour.”
At the time, that sounded a little sinister to me, but now, five kids and twenty-some years later, I get it. By dinner time, I come in limping, and tonight was no exception. Tim was making chicken on the grill, and I was at the kitchen counter, cutting up vegetables for our salad. Sarah was trying to tell me a story, two of the boys were chasing each in and out of the house, and our youngest was crying because he got hurt in the middle of the chaos.
Tim called Sarah and me outback and said we had to see the sunset, my favorite. As I stepped outside, I caught a glimpse of the sky filled with glowing pink clouds. I breathed in deeply, unclinched my jaw, and drank in the beauty. And in a single moment, I heard, “Peace! Be still.” At that point, I walked back into the house, out the front door, and crossed the street to the cotton field to get a better look. I repeated to myself, “Peace! Be still!” And when I did, I thought of the story in Mark 4:35-41.
Jesus and the disciples were winding down after a long day of their own. Jesus had just spent the day speaking to massive crowds. He said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” The Scripture goes on to tell the rest of the story:
“Upon leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still.: And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
As I gazed at the sky, now almost twilight, I knew that the Spirit reminded me of Jesus’ words not only because of the chaos happening in our home, but the storm that we are facing with Tim’s lay-off. There are no guarantees that Tim will have his job back in eight weeks. We don’t know how long it with take the travel industry to bounce back.
The truth is, my security is challenged, and it is frightening. But just like the disciples, I must take Jesus’ words to heart, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
As I began walking back to our house, fragments of Colossian 1:15-17 played through my mind,
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him, all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.”
Nothing is a surprise to God. He created heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible. The One who calms the storm holds us with his right hand.
Are you facing a storm in your life? How can I pray for you? Please leave a comment or send me a message. I would love to pray for you.