Answers to my personal prayers have always come in many forms. Sometimes it’s calming music in the right moment, a scripture that speaks to my heart, or a prompting to reach out and serve. At times, something finally comes together that I thought never would. But when I am struggling the most, it’s sometimes a different answer. And I’m often reluctant to recognize and be grateful for that answer. It’s an answer that is hard to “listen” to, because it doesn’t always feel like an answer. It is when the answer is peace.
In the New Testament, in Matthew 8 and Mark 4, we read as the Savior Jesus Christ has just finished the Sermon on the Mount. He went about healing others, and then, as multitudes gathered, He left in a ship, and His disciples followed.
“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:37–39
How many times have I asked the heavens, “Carest thou not that [I] perish?” or “How canst thou lie asleep?” (“Master, the Tempest Is Raging,
” Hymns, no. 105
). Perhaps the Savior could have just answered the question. That He cares. That the boat won’t sink. But instead, “he arose . . . and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. . . . And there was a great calm.”
The disciples wanted to know if the Savior cared. The Savior gave them peace in the storm. When I’ve asked, “How come I have to deal with this particular situation in my life?” I don’t usually get the answer I expect. And I probably wouldn’t appreciate it if I did. If God answered all my questions with a spoken-word answer, it probably wouldn’t always reach me or suffice my need. The facts of the matter aren’t always what I need, even though it’s what I think I want.
Instead, “there [is] a great calm.” The answer is simply peace.