In the Stillness

Byron LeavittDarkness, Suffering Leave a Comment

“Then said Jesus unto them, ‘Be not afraid.’ “(1)

. . .

Tornadoes ravage everything they touch. They rip apart lives. They rip apart landscapes. They devastate civilization.

In the part of the world I live in, tornadoes are relatively, blessedly rare. Thanks to our position amidst mountains, we are more sheltered from them than much of the United States. We don’t get tropical storms or hurricanes here, either. Life in western Washington is pretty placid when it comes to storms. But not so for most of the rest of the US. In these places these mindless, roaring furies are a very real – and present – threat.

Fear and the circumstances that birthed it are like a tropical storm, or a tornado. Sometimes we’re even warned that they’re coming. But, when they hit us, nothing could have prepared us for the maelstrom that rips our strength apart.

. . .

“He replied, ‘Peace to you, do not be afraid.'” (2)

. . .

We cower in terror as circumstance devastates all we have built and fear howls around us like a dreadful banshee armada. Our lives and notions and safety are ripped up from the earth and hurtled through the air, twisting and careening and deadly. We run for cover, only to have it wrenched up in front of us and sucked into the maelstrom.

With a growing certainty we think that we will not survive this. This storm will surely consume us. We grope for the courage that we are sure lies within, but we can’t seem to find it.

. . .

“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (3)

. . .

There is an interesting aspect to tornadoes and some other crippling storms. In the very center of them is what is referred to as the “eye.” In the eye of the storm, though everything rages around you, you find yourself surrounded by an unearthly stillness. All is calm. All is quiet. Even as it seems that the whole world is being torn to pieces in the distance.

. . .

“And now, my daughter, do not fear.” (4)

And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” (5)

. . .

God has prepared a stillness for you to abide in as your storm rages. There is an eye for you to shelter in. There is a refuge in the midst of panic and fear.

God will use this storm to show himself strong, and to strengthen you, as well. It will not last forever; there is still hope for a new day. But while it still rages, in the unfathomable chaos, find the stillness. Ask God for His peace. And then, as the world roils around you, just be still.

. . .

“For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven;
they went down to the depths;

their courage melted away in their evil plight;
they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.” (6)

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (7)



1. Matthew 28:10 KJV
2. Genesis 43:23 ESV
3. Isa 41:10
4. Ruth 3:11
5. Daniel 10:19
6. Psalm 107:25-29
7. Psalm 46:10

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