Friday, February 21, 2014

Retro Reality Check: Sit Down and Shut Up

[Editor's note: This Reality Check was published in February 2011 by SGM Radio website and was written by Lorraine Walker.]

Here it comes again. Can you feel the change in the wind? Another storm is approaching in your life to upset you and leave you shipwrecked emotionally, spiritually or even physically. You just wish Jesus would walk on water like He did in the Bible and say, “Peace!” to your storm. Well, maybe He is saying “Peace, be still”, but not to your storm. To you.

When Jesus said “Peace” that day in the Sea of Galilee, the word used at that time actually meant, “Silence! Hush! Be quiet!”. “Peace” meant an involuntary stillness, like telling an unruly child to sit down and shut up. It makes me wonder how much of that command was to the Sea, and how much was meant for the wailing disciples. With the amount of moaning and murmuring God must hear from us every time we are put out of our comfort zone, it’s no wonder He wants us to sit down, shut up, and listen to Him.

I’m not saying we don’t have reasons to be upset and angry about things that happen to us. I’m definitely not saying that we cannot question why ‘bad things happen to good people’. But maybe we spend too much time questioning, arguing and debating to hear any answer God may have for us. Jesus may be speaking to me right at the time I’m complaining, but my ears won’t work when my mouth is open.

If a child is acting out because they are hurt, they cannot receive the comfort being offered to them until they submit to the loving arms of the person trying to help. How similar this is to our relationship with our Lord. We keep acting out, from a feeling of pain or helplessness, yet we won’t submit to His arms of love. We know we will find comfort and peace there but we also know we give up whatever control we think we have. Sometimes we’d rather groan and complain and still think we can change the situation on our own. Perhaps one reason we enjoy our pity party is because we are the guest of honour.

It’s a hard thing to realize when a clear view of a bad situation turns inward to a feeling of victimization. It’s difficult because when we see ourselves as a victim, and others do too, again the focus is on us and it is human nature to like the attention. It takes a very strong person to admit their human frailty and run to God for strength and courage. Maybe we just don’t want to ask God for His deliverance because we don’t want to move on into the unknown glorious future. The ‘glorious’ part is lost on us; the ‘unknown’ part scares us to death.

Is your current storm causing you to cry out in fear and discouragement? Hear the words of Jesus: “Peace. Be quiet. Let Me talk to you in your situation and together we will get through it.” Listen to the Lord, sit down and shut up, and learn from the Master. The submission part may be really difficult, but would you rather drown?

Written by Lorraine Walker. First published in February 2011 on SGM Radio website.
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