Have you ever flown in a plane in the middle of a storm? I have. Cups spilled, overhead compartments burst open, and people screamed all around me. I’ve never been one to be afraid of flying, but in those times even the stoutest among us buckle up and pay attention.
The story is told of a flight that hit some unusual turbulence, tossing the airplane side to side in strong gusts of wind. Clouds looked more like coal. Lightning hit nearby. An eerie silence settled over the passengers in between their shrieks and screams. No one felt safe.
Except for one small child. He sat there preoccupied with his notebook and pen, drawing a picture of himself climbing a tree on a sun-filled day. To look at him you never would have guessed he was on a plane in the middle of a storm. A passenger nearby noticed him and wondered how he could feel so calm, so she asked the young boy, “Aren’t you afraid?”
He just looked up from his paper for a moment, smiled, and said, “No.”
“Why not?” the lady prodded, fingers gripping her seat.
“Because my dad is the pilot,” he answered matter-of-factly then returned to his drawing.
Sometimes life seems out of control, but knowing who sits at the controls ought to usher in a heart of peace.
The word peace gets used a lot, but we often misunderstand its real meaning. In the Middle East, peace stands for something more like a truce bringing a temporary reprieve from war. To a young mother, it could stand for that hour when the toddlers take their naps.
Peace means different things to different people.
The peace Jesus offers is like no other. His peace produces internal calm in the midst of external chaos. We experience His peace when we trade in our fears of the storm for a healthy fear and reverence of Him. When we shift our gaze from the sea to the Savior, peace ensues.
Paul told us to respond to God’s peace the same way the storm responded to Jesus that night on the Sea of Galilee. “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15). The Greek word used for control means “to umpire.” We all know what an umpire does. He declares the way things are. Whatever he says it is—a ball, a strike, an out or a run—that’s what it is.
Likewise, whatever Jesus says about a matter, that’s what it is. It’s settled. So when He says “take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33), it’s settled. And we should respond accordingly: with courage.
Your world may be falling apart, but you don’t have to fall apart with it. You can’t always control what happens to you or into what storms you may fly, but you do have control over how you respond. Responding to Jesus’ presence and power in your life allows you to let go of your fear and replace it with peace—His peace. It doesn’t mean you won’t have problems, but it does mean your problems won’t have you.
Relationships may falter. Jobs may cease. Health may decline. The economy could continue to dip and turn. But Jesus says, “Silence! Be still!” You can rest comfortably, because He’s got you in His hands.