Somewhere in my foggy brain, I realized my alarm was going off. Sweet mercy it was time to wake up again. My body felt so heavy. Did someone weigh me down with bricks while I was sleeping? How could my heart wake up beating so fast?
I picked up my phone to check the usuals: daily Bible verse, meetings for the day, and the bank balance. Maybe you can relate? It feels like no matter how hard I budget. No matter how many times I say no to eating out. No matter how many times I refigure the grocery list to have fewer items–there is just never enough money. Checking that bank balance can make or break my day. This day: it was broken.
I went to the mailbox in anticipation of His answers to prayer. Would there be a return from an overpaid doctor bill (it happened before)? Would there be a check from our mortgage company about a surplus (it happened before)? Or, would there be a gift card for coffee since my beloved Starbucks was a dream (it happened before)? Nothing. There was nothing but a bill from a doctor, a statement from the mortgage company, and a circular ad for fast food. Then I felt silly. God was not an ATM.
As I waited in the car line to pick up my girls from school, the song Peace Be Still began to play. I stopped in my tracks. (Well, not literally. I had to keep the car line moving. Can you imagine!?) As the song played, I remembered that my verse earlier in the day featured the words “Peace! Be still!” At a pause in the carline, I looked up the verse: Mark 4:39ESV, “And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
How easy it is to read those words and think, “Sure, but that was Jesus. He could move mountains. I can’t even balance my budget!” Here’s the thing: I don’t have to stop the waves. I don’t want to stop the waves because, whether I understand it or not, God is using this moment for his good. What I want to do is believe that God knows best. That His power is perfect in my weakness. I have to remind myself that right now is not about fixing my bank balance or even budgeting. Right now, it is about trusting God is in control and not letting my anxiety rule me. I struggle with anxiety–this is no small feat.
“Peace! Be still,” I whispered. My racing heart slowed a bit.
"Peace. Be still," I thought as I picked up the girls and they instantly started to argue.
“Peace. Be still.” God whispered to my heart.
By the time we arrived home, my heart was no longer racing. Sure, the bank account stood nowhere near where I wanted it to be but, my faith was on much firmer ground. God may not have given actual dollars, but he gave me a different currency: a command to stop the storm swirling around me and be still.
Lord, please help me be still in the storm. When the water rises, the waves threaten to overtake, and I start to sink–remind me to be still. Forgive me for the times I treat you like an ATM or focus too much on the waves. You are the God who never ceases to provide. Show me where I can be more responsible with your provisions. I am safe because you are my Peace. Please comfort the person reading this blog today. Bring them a peace that surpasses all understanding. Meet them where they are and offer out your hand to them.