Restless Souls

April 28, 2011
by Martin Wiles

Matthew 8:26 – And Jesus answered, "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!" Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. (NLT)

Written by Katharina von Schlegel in 1752 and translated by Jane Borthwick in 1855, Be Still, My Soul is a sombre song containing encouragement for restless souls. Grief and pain can be borne when God is near. The future is not to be worried over but welcomed with confidence. When loved ones die, God will soothe our agony. For Christian believers, hope is possible even in our own demise, for we will be ushered into a grief- and pain-free heaven.

As I read the lyrics of the song, I saw myself in the aged mirror. I take no enjoyment in pain, and I often worry over things I cannot control. I've discovered I have power over only one thing: me. I do not enjoy funerals, nor do I take pleasure in their reminder of life's frailty. My soul is frequently restless.

Jesus once entered a boat with His disciples to escape the crowd who frequently hounded him. He was tired and quickly fell asleep. Then a furious storm approached. The disciples were terrified. At their wits' end, they finally woke Jesus and asked if He cared that they were about to drown. Jesus rebuked them for their insufficient faith, then calmed the storm with His voice.

The storm brought restlessness in nature, but I have an idea that the terror went deeper. When Jesus calmed the storm, He also touched another side needing attention. Suddenly they realized that He was more than just a man. Not only could He handle the forces of nature, but He could also calm restless souls plagued by fear, misunderstanding, worry, anxiety, and disappointment.

I've come to realize the same when my restless soul becomes fidgety. What I place in God's hand is always calmed by the soft whisper of His Spirit assuring me that He is God and I'm not.

Prayer: Spirit of God, enable us to recognize that restless souls are calmed by the assuring voice of our loving heavenly Father. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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