Tonight I find myself in a position that will be familiar to many administrators. It is a busy period and there is lots to do. There are deadlines to meet. I am tired and yet when I hit my pillow my brain refuses to switch off. Instead of sleep I find myself thinking of work, of things that must be done tomorrow, of things I must not forget.
It is at times like these that I love declarations – powerful words of Biblical truth that act like a reset button on life. There is one particular declaration that I have found incredibly effective for these sleep-stealing moments:
I speak to the raging waters in my life; peace, be still; I say to my mind; peace, be still; I say to my emotions; peace, be still; I say to my body; peace, be still; I say to my home; peace, be still; I say to my family; peace, be still ( Mark 4:39)
As I sit here, declaring this over myself, with a mug of peppermint tea to hand, I feel the stresses of the to-do list fading away. I speak to the turmoil and I say ‘Peace, be still’. I close my eyes and I visual the sea, churning waves and wild winds, seagulls screaming as they circle the water, and I say ‘Peace, be still’. In my minds eye the waves become gentle breakers, the wind is a caress and the seagulls settle on the sand. And then I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit is here, comforting, encouraging. I hear his voice in the reclaimed quiet saying, ‘All will be well’.
We are not called to lose sleep over our to-do lists, not even in the busiest of times. When we partner with the Holy Spirit it is possible to operate from a place of peace – a place of rest – no matter how busy how schedule or the pressing needs of deadlines. Jesus commanded the raging waters to be still. We have his authority to do likewise to the metaphorical raging waters of our lives.
I came across this poem while seeking that place of peace tonight:
They raged, I raged,
I was quiet
They raged more,
I became quieter
They raged even more,
I became even more calm and quiet
They, seeing it didn’t work, became quiet
And the sea of emotions began to break the giant waves,
And once again the sea became calm and all was at peace.
We do not need to join in with the raging waters of worry or too much to do. Instead we can embrace the peace of the Holy Spirit.
Now I will return to bed and sleep peacefully, knowing that all will be well. I would encourage you, next time you find yourself awake in the small hours with your thoughts racing, to declare peace to the raging waters.