Jesus is still sleeping by my couch
There are seasons in life where things seem to move along pretty smoothly. Then, there are seasons, much like springtime in Albuquerque, where each day looks wildly different. It could be sunny and 80 on one day, rainy and 60 on the next, and range between perfectly still and so windy that the shingles blow off your roof. I'm riding through a wild springtime right now, both literally and emotionally.
This isn't my first experience of being blown all over the place. In fact, I knew I had even written about it before. I thought it was time for me to look up what had rocked my world last time, and remind myself that there is hope to be at rest even through the howling wind.
Here's what I had written back in July of 2011:
For almost three weeks now, I have been experiencing a host of physical and emotional symptoms that have led me to diagnose myself with everything from mono to a brain tumor. Admittedly, I have a tendency to imagine the worst case scenarios, but when your body starts acting contrary to what youknow to be "normal", it doesn't take long to develop a list of possible ailments.
While I wait to see a doctor on the physical stuff, I'm left to battle the emotional part. And for me, this is a lifelong fight, with periods where I feel the insurgents will get the best of me. For those that deal with depressive tendencies, you know just what I mean. I feel as though I have been under heavy fire for these last few weeks.
Today, after bawling on the phone for 20 minutes to my sister, I decided it was time to sit, pray and surrender. I'm not ready to turn myself over to the emotional monsters that want to destroy my peace--but rather, I want to give up, and let the Lord fight this battle on my behalf. I never had a fighting chance on my own anyway.
There is a painting that hangs over my couch that serves as a reminder of the hope I have. A photograph can't do justice to the remarkable painting by Glen Strock. But, as I gaze on the face of Jesus, asleep in the midst of howling wind and waves, how I long to have that kind of peace. If you look carefully in the upper right hand corner, you will see two small boats. No doubt the crew members are straining at the oars, desperate to escape calamity. Sadly, I most often resemble the panicked crew.
While my natural inclination is to sleep in order to escape life's problems, I want to be able to (with confidence) shut my eyes, and rest perfectly, knowing that the Lord will never leave or forsake me. He sees my needs and will meet them in His perfect timing.
If you will allow one more artistic plug, I want to share the lyrics of a powerful song that has often ministered to me on this very topic:
PEACE BE STILL
words and music by Chuck Elmore copyright 2010
V1 – Young night blue, light of heaven shines on me, this day of fullness comes to close
I’m staring down fears that the darkness makes me see
While the rest of the world lies in repose
V2 – Thoughts of not yet, and the thoughts of days before,
Sleep seems to stay a dream away
My mind is a boat and I’m straining at the oars
Through a tempest that keeps your peace at bay
Pre-chorus – Oh, the wind and the waves (the wind blows and the waters rise)
The wind and the waves (they salt my tears and they blind my eyes)
But you’ve told me to go (I go and I am going on Your word) speak, Lord
Chorus – Peace, be still, I Am, I Am, peace, be still, I Am, I Am, I Am
V3 – You’ve lifted me up as a city on a hill, a candle to shine on through the dark
And I have been sent like an arrow from your bow,
And You are not one to miss Your mark (pre-chorus and chorus)
Bridge – My body is Your temple, my life is Your throne,
Your law is on my mind, my heart, not on condemning stone
Your Spirit lives within me, Your touch comes through my hand
And with Your words, and in Your name I say
Chorus 2 – Peace, be still, I am because You are, peace, be still, I am because
You are I Am (repeat)
So, I close with an Amen and prayer that I will once more choose to be at peace and experience His stillness, whether in the midst of the storm, or safely planted on the shore. And to give credit where credit is due, Chuck's music can be found here. As for the remarkable painting by Glen Strock, it's still the focal point of my living room where Jesus is still sleeping by my couch.