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"Peace, Be Still" – in America?

If there is a picture in the Bible that captures the scene today, it is the image of a stormy sea. The winds of change are blowing in every direction. Governments are colliding like waves crashing against one another. The noise of unrest in our land is like the deafening roar of the ocean. Our world is as unstable as a tumultuous sea, and the anxiety we feel is like the helplessness of one stranded in its troubled waters.

Isaiah spoke of “the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!” (Isa. 17:12). Daniel wrote, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea” (Dan. 7:2). The raging seas represent times of great conflict in nations and between nations.

These prophets warned of great calamity and suffering. They remind us that there is “a time of war, and a time of peace” (Ecc. 3:8). But they also teach us that the Almighty measured the earth’s waters in the hollow of His hand and to Him “the nations are as a drop of a bucket” (Isa. 40:12, 15).

We often say, “God is in control.” It is time to act like we believe this instead of just repeating it. The God who made the world can calm the winds and waves of society just as Jesus calmed the stormy sea.

But just because God can still the storm does not mean He will or that He will calm things down soon. God does things in His own way in His own time. His timing is perfect. Our sense of timing is shortsighted. We may not see why the storm has to continue. We may and should pray for peace. But we must always pray and speak with these words in mind: “If the Lord wills” (James 4:15). God’s ways are not our ways.

God by His great power not only created the mighty oceans but also manages them for purposes all His own. We can see the hand of God in the waters, but we cannot see how the hand of God uses them to accomplish these ends. In the same way, we know that God created mankind. However, we do not know how or why God works behind the scenes of human affairs. What we do know is that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men” (Dan. 4:17). In these chaotic times, we must remember that God can alter political powers as easily as He can change the weather. In worrisome days like these, the line of that cherished psalm is more comforting than ever: “He leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2). Until the storm is over we need to trust in God and be patient, realizing that God is not asleep but is working all things according to His own wisdom—including answers to our prayers.


West End Bulletin for Nov. 8, 2020


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