Peace, Peace, Be Still
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?
The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will, Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea, Or demons or men, or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will: Peace, be still; Peace, be still.
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will: Peace, peace, be still.
( Master, the Tempest is Raging , Hymns, 105)
Oh, Master, the tempest is raging! The storms clouds gather and burst, but like the hymn, the Lord is saying to me, “ Peace, be still .” Gathering storms have been our life since late last year. Storms seem drawn to my wife and me for as long as I can remember. Yet, the Lord says, “ Peace, be still .” The floods have come and tried to sweep us away, but the Lord has protected us—He has been our strength. When I wrote Deliverance and Personal Partings of the Red Sea I had no idea the theme trusting in the Strength of the Lord would span numerous articles. When I completed Relying on the Strength of the Lord I thought I was ready to move on to a new topic, but the Lord knew differently. His lesson:
Therefore, let thy heart be comforted . . . for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God . ( D&C 101:16 , emphasis added.)
House On A Rock
Years ago our ward made a quilt for our former bishop as a way to let him know of our love. The quilt was made of individual squares provided by each family in the ward. Each family designed their square to reflect their family in a way the bishop would remember. Our family chose, A House Built on a Rock. It showed a fabric house sitting on top of a rock with the floods encircling it. With lightning and storm clouds all around, the house on the rock stood firm. This house on a rock reflected our innermost desire to be founded on the sure rock of Jesus Christ. Over the years we have clung to the words of the Lord when He said,
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. ( Matthew 7:24-25 )
Our house upon the rock continues to stand, as the storms never cease to gather and beat upon our house, and the Lord says, “ Peace, be still .” Enemies have sought to destroy us, but they will not. The day is coming and is not far distant when we shall see the salvation of the Lord.
Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for [your enemies] whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. ( Exodus 14:13 )
How do our enemies try to hurt us? Some have cheated us in business, some robbed us at home, others made false promises and took advantage. Still others continue to make false claims, create havoc, embrace corruption, endanger life and limb, and some seek to destroy for vengeance’s sake. Are those who try to hurt us our enemies? Disease is my constant companion and is slowly eroding my physical strength—is my illness my personal enemy? The Apostle, Paul taught:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ( Ephesians 6:12 )
Knowing my enemy is difficult, yet in my heart, I feel a warm peace as I write the words, “ Peace, be still. ” These feeling swell within me and I think of, “ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding ” ( Proverbs 3:5 ). So, why do I fear man? The Lord teaches what I must fear:
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. ( Matthew 10:28 )
The Lord also provides the solution to combat those who seek to destroy both soul and body in hell. He says, “ Fear ye not ” ( Matthew 10:31 ) and then provides this promise:
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. ( Matthew 10:32 )
As I seek opportunity to confess that Jesus is the Christ, and Savior of the world, then I am comforted as He smiles upon me. I feel Him beckon to me, “ Peace, be still , . . . and [I always feel] a great calm” as I remember His words ( Mark 4:39 , emphasis added). Though the storms may rage outside, I feel peace, be still inside my soul. I take the Lord’s words to heart when He says:
Be still, and know that I am God . ( Psalms 46:10 )
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Painting: Come Unto Me used with permission, Copyright © 2012 by Liz Lemon Swindle