Stillness amid storms

Black clouds roll across the sky, and wind and rain lash the landscape. Hurricanes appear as total turbulence; yet there is a kind of stillness at the heart of every storm. This area of relative calm is known by aviators and meteorologists as the ''eye of the storm.''

When I was a child, our home was often the scene of another kind of storm. I would creep away to my room and hide under the bedclothes, trying to find a place where I could shut out the sound of anger and argument. Today, I realize that there is more we can do than hide from such storms. We can help dispel them through prayer, refusing to be drawn into the turbulence.

Whether the storms raging around us take the form of family arguments, disagreements at work, or some other relationship trouble, an understanding of God's might and presence can immediately begin to nullify them. Christ Jesus proved this. He found stillness in storms of every kind, and helped others to do the same. When he and his disciples encountered a sudden, violent storm at sea, his command ''Peace, be still'' n1 was followed by calm.

n1 Mark 4:39.

Was it merely words that quieted the storm? Jesus knew the nearness and love of God, who he told us was our Father, and he utilized this understanding in every turbulent encounter.

One of the psalms includes this loving instruction: ''Be still, and know that I am God.'' n2 Realizing in prayer God's allness and His constant loving presence helps silence fear and hate. It helps replace resentment and jealousy with compassion and forgiveness. Quieting our angry reaction to another's comments or acts, we open our thought to the ever-present healing power of God and His Christ.

n2 Psalms 46:10.

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, realized that God's all-power and presence can be proved today. She writes, referring to God, ''Mind demonstrates omnipresence and omnipotence, but Mind revolves on a spiritual axis, and its power is displayed and its presence felt in eternal stillness and immovable Love.'' n3

n3 Retrospection and Introspection, pp. 88-89.

Christian Science teaches that God is not just mightier than any other power. He is All, the only power, infinitely capable of caring for man. Each one can feel His love as a protecting presence in the most violent storms of whatever nature.

If storm clouds appear on our horizon, we can remain still, turning to our Father for help and safety. A young trust officer proved this when the anger of his superior threatened the peace of the office and even the existence of his job. Things were so bad that the official would walk around, muttering curses against his subordinate.

One day, the young man found the office in turmoil, with impossible deadlines being set by the one in charge, who was about to go on vacation. Resisting the impulse to join in the general panic, he excused himself for a few minutes and went to a nearby Christian Science Reading Room. There he quietly prayed to discern the allness of God and the fact of His absolute control. He denied the apparent power of fear and anger to govern man. After a few minutes he gained a great sense of peace and an assurance that all was well. Returning to the office , he found the tempest had died down and order prevailed. The work was completed successfully and on time. That was also the end of the senior official's animosity toward the younger man, and the two became friends.

Each one of us can identify with the stillness of God's presence even while storms are raging. Recognizing the power of that stillness will help to quiet the fiercest disturbance and bring permanent harmony. Man is truly never outside the allness of God's presence. DAILY BIBLE VERSE O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillestthem. . . . Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord in the light of thy countenance. Psalms 89:8, 9, 15

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