The news has been pretty wild lately. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died and Trump and the Republicans pledge to fill that seat right away. There is uncertainty about the upcoming election – will my vote count? Will Trump step down if not re-elected? Covid-19 continues to infect 40,000 new people a day in the United States. And, on a more personal level, people I know are struggling physically, financially, and spiritually.
Years ago, when I was visiting the Hospice Center of Summit County, I saw a wonderful quote outside the chapel. “Sometimes Jesus calms the storm, and sometimes Jesus calms the child.” I have hung on to this thought through many stormy times. I always pray for Jesus to calm the storm and he always does. But not always in the ways I think he should.
Sometimes Jesus calms the storm. Sometimes sanity reappears in government or the economy. Even the worst hurricanes eventually pass. The highest flood waters recede and the hottest fires burn out. Sometimes the external things change so that the storm passes away from us.
But, more often, I have found that Jesus calms the child. Jesus centers my soul and reminds me of the things of eternal importance. What does this moment mean in the stretch of eternity? How much of this that I am worrying about today will be important in 10, 20, 100 years? When I am most anxious – when the wind and waves seem overwhelming – Jesus reminds me that he is with me. To calm the anxious child within, I claim Bible promises.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Hebrews 13:5-6 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Mark 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
To calm the storms without, I sing songs and hymns such as “Stand By Me” and “It Is Well.” When I feel that everything is out of control and get anxious about the future, I remember the God who has guided me so far. I remember his eternal perspective and have the assurance of salvation even in the midst of our current insanity.
How do you calm yourself when you are anxious? What reminds you of the eternal perspective? May Jesus calm your storms.