Stillness in the Storms of Life

by Darlene L. Turner

 Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 NIV

The waves slapped the side of the boat, rocking it gently. My sister and I listened to our surroundings. Silence. Stillness. Serenity. I wondered if this is what it felt like when Jesus calmed this same sea over two thousand years ago.

It was a beautiful evening. The captain had cut the engine, and we marveled at being out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. The stars shone brightly and the lights of Tiberias, Capernaum, Tabgha and the other Galilean towns flickered in the background. Stillness.

Tears formed in my eyes as I thought about my mother and how she had planned to take this trip. It had been her dream to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. She had booked her tour and anticipated the adventure of visiting Israel’s sites. Little did she realize, it would be done through her daughters’ eyes. She would take a journey, just not the one she expected.

I held my sister’s hand as a verse popped into my head. “Be still and know that I am God.” It’s such a simple command, yet so complex.

Many times Jesus withdrew from the crowds to be still and listen to His Father. He encouraged His disciples by His example to do the same. He rebuked the wind and commanded stillness in nature. He encouraged busy Mary to be like her sister, who sat at Jesus’ feet.

This raises a question. How do we “be still” and “know God” in an age where everything moves so quickly around us? Fast-food restaurants, cell phones, text messaging, internet, credit cards, and on-line shopping all vie for our attention. We are constantly trying to keep up with the pace of everyone around us. We are over-involved in the church, our children’s school activities, sports, computer games and television. We work extremely hard to afford the biggest houses, but we’re never home to enjoy them. When will it stop?

Sometimes God allows circumstances in our lives that cause us to be still. For me, it was when our mother was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Then years later, our brother discovered he had bone marrow cancer. It was like someone had punched us in the stomach. How could this be happening twice in our family?

I wrestled with God and asked Him why He would allow this to happen to individuals who only wanted to serve Him. But while I may have struggled, my mother and brother handled it entirely differently. They both chose joy through their trials. Peace radiated on their faces.

Through those hard journeys, God taught me to wait upon Him. I realized I couldn’t control what happened, and after a heart-wrenching conversation with Him, I finally gave in. He loved them more than I did. He taught me to savor every moment.

I also realized I had neglected spending the time with God I should be. I wasn’t being still. I was so busy trying to get things done, I forgot about Him. He wanted my attention. It was time for me to give it to Him.

Just like the captain cut the engine on the boat that night, and we swayed back and forth before feeling tranquility, God uses circumstances in our lives to rock us before we can learn to be still. But when we do, He gives us a peace that passes all understanding. Even in a storm.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3 KJV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

Abducted in Alaska (Love Inspired Suspense) by [Darlene L. Turner]

About the author: Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning and best-selling author. She lives with her husband, Jeff, in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. Her debut book, Border Breach, released in April 2020 with Love Inspired Suspense. She has two books releasing in 2021: Abducted in Alaska and Lethal Cover-Up. You can connect with Darlene at http://www.darlenelturner.com where there’s suspense beyond borders

Join the conversation: Has God ever rocked you into being still?

Never Too Much for Him

by Lynn Eib

The battle is the LORD’s…1 Samuel 17:47 NIV

 I consider myself a strong person. But back in 1990, at the age of 36, facing cancer and the fact that dying was a greater possibility than surviving was simply more than I could face.

Worrying about whether my three precious little girls would have to grow up without a mother was way more than I could bear. And fearing that my sweet husband would bury another wife was absolutely more than I could endure.

This is more than I can handle,” I remember telling God one day…trying not to sound too whiny.

“I know,” He whispered to my heart. “But it’s not too much for Me.”

That was one of the most freeing things I learned through my cancer journey. It was all right that I sometimes had more than I could handle. I didn’t have to reach down inside myself and muster up some super strength. God would supernaturally supply it to me as I trusted in Him.

What a relief!

Even if my own resources were exhausted, God’s would never be.

My strength might be sapped, but He could still move mountains.

Everything could be changing around me, but He always would be my Rock.

During those first early dark-days-after-cancer, I often thought of the shepherd boy David as he went into battle against the giant Goliath. Do you know what his battle cry was?  He wasn’t like The Little Engine That Could, chugging along and repeating “I think I can, I think I can.”

No, I believe he was thinking, “I know I can’t, I know I can’t.” After all, he was the youngest and smallest boy in his family and Goliath was more than nine feet tall. But David was at peace, because his battle cry was, “I know God can, I know God can.” If you read 1 Samuel 17:47 you’ll hear his exact words: “the battle is the LORD’s.”

That phrase became the catalyst for my prayers as I awoke on post-diagnosis mornings.

“I feel like a little shepherd with a slingshot facing a giant named Cancer, and it is more than I can handle,” I told the Lord. “But I am so glad it is not more than You can handle. The battle belongs to You, Lord. Fight for me and through me. Do what I cannot do on my own.

And He did.

I love how the Apostle Paul describes a time in his life when he, too, was faced with more than he could handle: “We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God, who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9.

What a powerful message: You find strength and hope—and yes, peace—when, like Paul and David, you stop relying on yourself and learn to rely on God. Your struggles and setbacks, your disappointments and dilemmas, your fears and your failures are never too much for Him to handle. The battle is the Lord’s and He will win it for you.

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Never Too Much for Him – insight from Lynn Eib on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

lynn eibAbout the author: Lynn Eib is a long-time cancer survivor, a patient advocate, and an award-winning journalist. She has six titles with Tyndale House Publishing, including When God & Cancer Meet with 100,000+ copies sold. Her website www.lynneib.com provides a bi-weekly blog of encouragement; tips for founding, facilitating and finding faith-based support groups; and free resources for cancer patient and their caregivers.

In Lynn’s beautiful, giftable book, Peace in the Face of Cancer, she shares how to live well from the moment of diagnosis through the rest of life. You’ll discover how to bring God’s peace into your own home and heart―regardless of your or your loved one’s medical prognosis.

Join the conversation: What battles has the Lord fought for you?