Some years ago I was with family and friends on a transatlantic flight from Atlanta to Brussels. It was a night flight and we were trying to sleep when we hit turbulence. Anyone who has flown through turbulence knows that it can be, shall we say, quite disturbing! As the plane rocked and rolled, an image came to mind of a pair of hands with our plane – tiny in relation to the hands – sheltered above and between them. The turbulence continued but I knew I was safe in His hands.
For many reasons, the world is an uncertain and turbulent place. Perhaps now it is more turbulent than ever, or perhaps we just know more about the turbulence through a combination of better communications and the media’s obsession with bad news. (Here’s a tip: if you want to worry less about what’s going on at home and abroad – shootings, bombings, natural disasters, financial crises – switch off the television! Don’t be uninformed, but don’t let the reports saturate your mind.)
Whichever the case – more turbulence or just knowing more about it – if you know His hands, then you are safe in them! The storms may continue, or He may say “Peace, be still!” as He did in Galilee for his friends in the boat, and the wind and the waves obeyed Him. But even if our storms continue, I think He says to us, “Peace, be still!”
He gives us peace in the storm.
‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’
But how to get that peace?
It’s all very well to say that God gives us peace but it’s not always that easy to get it! The apostle Paul has a tip for us on that – he didn’t need the one about switching off the television! 🙂
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
You see, it’s not as simple as the song makes out: “Don’t worry, be happy.” Or perhaps it’s even simpler! After all, the exhortation to “be happy” is just as difficult to follow as the one to “be peaceful”. But Paul tells us how: tell God! It’s not like He doesn’t already know, of course; the prayer is to establish our connection, like picking up the telephone to share a problem with a friend (also a good idea at times!) And establishing that connection can bring a peace that, as the older translations put it, “passes understanding”. You find yourself saying, “I should be frantic, but I’m peaceful! I don’t understand it!” That’s the peace that passes understanding! It may take a few “phone calls” to God, and maybe a bit of ranting and shouting, depending on your situation, but eventually the peace will come. (Don’t worry, you can’t shock Him and he loves your honesty!)
So if you’re finding the world a bit turbulent, tell your Heavenly Father and let Him handle it for you. It won’t go away, but you’ll know that you’re safe in His hands.
Let me end with this lovely song, Here in Your hands, written and sung by my friends Chris and Laura Christensen. It’s from their album, Lord of the Journey (also on iTunes if you want to get a copy).
“There’s no fear when I’m here in you hands”
The version below is in French – also sung by Chris and Laura on their album En Chemin.