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Peace, Be Still!

 

Brenda Nail DeLauder Columnist

  The little country church, where, as a child, I walked down the aisle one Sunday night and took Christ into my heart, was also where I learned wonderful hymns of old. I remember one particular song our choir sang with the music director taking on the refrain as a solo. Each time I heard it, chills ran up my spine, letting me know the Holy Spirit was in the room. The director’s rich baritone voice would hit those power-filled notes with perfection, capturing the attention of all the congregation. As the words rang out, I could clearly picture the Biblical story of Jesus and the disciples on the boat, which started off sailing smooth waters. Jesus laid down for a much needed nap, but before long a powerful squall began to toss the boat around, frightening the followers of Christ. They were horrified at Jesus for sleeping while they were on the verge of drowning in the angry waves.

  To my surprise this old hymn recently flooded my mind at a moment of need. It might have been written in the late 1800's, but still holds powerful strength in both melody and words today.

  “Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high! The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, no shelter or help is nigh: Carest Thou not that we perish? How canst Thou lie asleep, when each moment so madly is threatening a grave in the angry deep?”

  During dark times in our lives, how often do we call on God and when we don’t gain the immediate response we think is needed, we whine and feel rejected. God is not asleep at the wheel, nor has He thrown us into the angry sea. Yet when we are going through a rough time all we hear is the roar of the crashing waves. Even though we know in our hearts God is with us, when someone strikes out at us with harsh words and ugliness, it can make us feel isolated and alone. About the time we are contemplating what cave to climb inside to lick our wounds, we hear a quiet and soothing voice calling out to us.

  “The winds and the waves shall obey My will. Peace be still! Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea, or demons or men or whatever it be, no water can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies; They all shall sweetly obey My will; Peace be Still! Peace be still!”

  We stop and listen as the voice, as well as the tempo, grow stronger increasing steadily. It makes us stand a little straighter and taller, and we find our faces tilting upward. The rain may still sting when it hits our faces, but we no longer care, because we have been reminded we are standing on His promise. Before long, the rain stops, the sun comes out from behind the dark clouds, and the sea waters become calm once more.

  “They all shall sweetly obey My will; Peace, peace, be still!”

  In order to get through every trial and difficulty in our lives, we need to place our total trust in God. When we allow something to shake us, instead of running away or lashing out, those are the times to put on our armor, (Ephesians 6:13-17), and place our focus on God alone. Our biggest battles in life are often those we take on without first seeking our Lord’s guidance. We may still go through the storm, but without a doubt, it will work out perfectly when we allow Thy will to be done.

  Peace! Be Still! By Mary A. Baker, The Broadman Hymnal, 1940 edition.

 

 Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.

 

 

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