I finally made it to Seattle!!!
It’s been a long time coming, so I’m thrilled to finally be here. Feet on the ground, settled into my room, able to actively root myself into my new life. But I’m pretty sure it’s also stressing me out. Though my mind feels pretty peaceful (maybe to the point that it’s not peace, just numbness), my body seems to be wigging out. Tired all the time, skin breaking out, and dealing with some interesting digestive issues. I would be concerned, but I’ve been through this enough times to realize that this is all a pretty natural response to the stress of moving to a city I’ve never been to that’s full of people I don’t know, with no idea where my income is going to come from. Yeah…they say the stress of moving is up there with losing a loved one or having a baby, so I guess it’s not unreasonable for my body to rebel a bit. I’m gonna Sabbath tomorrow and take a breath, spend a day with Daddy. But a friend sent a prayer my way today, and reminded me that I can also tell my body and soul, “Peace, be still.”
Peace, be still. I swear, just repeating the words soothes my soul. They’re from Jesus, when he rebukes that sea for his disciples so they don’t end up in a shipwreck. And as I meditated on the section I realized how profound it is that Jesus used his power to say to the elements, “Peace, be still.”
This was a departure. Our God, as we know, is Powerful. With a capital P. Throughout scripture He demonstrates that power in many different ways. His power is at Mount Sinai, thunderous and terrifying. It’s the power that brought down the walls of Jericho, that rained fire from heaven to devour the sacrifice at Elija’s bidding. It was the “strong east wind” that parted the Red Sea. It took down Goliath and put armies to flight, destroyed the enemies of God’s people. But Jesus used God’s power quite differently. There were still plenty of foes in his day that could have used vanquishing. Still plenty of evil to be purged. Many of his followers would have loved to see a fiery death for the Romans or the military might to drive them out. But we don’t see any of that. It’s notably lacking from his ministry. When James and John, in a fit of righteous indignation, helpfully suggest calling on the fire of God to destroy a city that doesn’t receive Jesus, they get themselves thoroughly rebuked. But they understandably thought that’s how God’s power was supposed to be used. That’s what it looks like in the Old Testament (which is all they had at the time). Jesus really turned things on their head when, with all that power at his command, he used his authority over the wind and that waves to speak them to stillness.
That’s a kind of power our world could really use these days. Maybe I’ll pray, “Peace, be still” over more than just myself tonight.