In the Stillness of the Heart
by Maria Franco
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“He stilled the storm to a whisper, the waves of the sea were hushed.” Psalms107:29
In silence, we can find God. We are all too aware of this phrase. Basically, it is essential for everyone to sit in silence daily for some time, alone, without any noise or distraction. To just allow ourselves to collect our thoughts and reflect on life itself.
When we do this, we find our mind settling down, all the turbulent thoughts begin to ease, our heart beat becomes steady, we begin to feel the presence of God, we feel His grace within us, we absorb the hope that He offers us and the security that He is very much with us on this earth. We can experience something similar when we look at nature; God’s amazing and impressive creation. We feel the same serenity when we admire the fascinating views created by the hand of God. This is in complete contrast to the loud environmental noise encountered in life which increase the tempo of our own heart beat and invokes a restlessness within us.
When we admire nature, in that moment of stillness, we are never alone, the Creator is along with us and the ones who are far away from us but remembered in that moment also becomes a part of this moment of stillness, the moment of admiration, the moment of joy that we behold.
A few days ago, as I was listening in church to the soothing strains of the hymn- ‘Be Still and Know that I am God’, I was struck by this line; “I am the Lord that health thee.” I was literally transfixed and allowed this sentence to sink into me. The reality of this line dawned on me that we may avail of the best medical treatment in the world but it is only God that heals us. It is His final decision.
This line also serves as a grace liner for us to turn to and let the Lord work in us, to offer ourselves to His healing touch be it a physical healing or an emotional one. To claim all the blessings that He so dearly wants to give us. It is in the stillness of hearts that the Lord’s divine presence can be sought.
When people are close to us they can immediately sense when we are not well and their prayers are heard the fastest by God because of their immense love for us. It is not just telepathy but the underlying alliance that exists and travels through the solitude of hearts to be there for the other, silently. It is the stillness of love which may seem to be rooted to one spot but in reality is so fully packed with emotions and out of this world feelings, it just cannot be expressed in words, it can be only felt to the core.
We feel the same strong love when we acknowledge God’s presence in the stillness of our being, confident of His healing touch. He is a God of whom we can boast of with all our might, for all the wondrous deeds that He has performed. His own stillness of heart on the cross when He was reflecting in solitude at the rejection of the world. His determination and strength to carry on in spite of this until His last breath.
Yes, in solitude we find strength to go on, we begin to understand love in a renewed way. We can also grasp as to why some people go through life loving silently without ever voicing their feelings. Silence does not draw us away from the other, on the contrary, in silence we are holding others even more firmly in our hearts. Even if there is only a moment’s communication, the heart continues to co-relate the whole day long. It is the thought of others that we hold in our minds.
There is an inspirational story of a plane which was caught in the midst of a violent storm. The passengers were all terrified fearing doom. However, a young girl calmly sat in her seat reading a book, totally unaffected by the severity of the storm. The storm continued for a long time. Still, to everyone’s amazement the girl was totally calm. A few hours later the storm subsided and the plane reached its destination. One of the passengers could not contain his curiosity and went up to the girl to inquire as to how she could have been so unmoved during the ferocious storm. The girl replied that her father was the pilot and she knew that he would fly her home to safety.
Perhaps right now, we have the same apprehension and hesitancy in us that the disciples had in the boat. We too are intimidated by the storms in life. But even in the midst of the storm the Lord is an ever present light. We read in Psalms 139:11-12, " Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
Today the Lord is telling us all to be still and let Him work in our lives, to allow him to calm the storm in our hearts to a whisper, to break the waves that threaten to engulf us. He is with us in every storm that we encounter and He will bring us through it safely. He alone can provide the stillness amidst the storm, the reprieve, the sure faith that it will eventually subside to the calm waters of peace. He will guide us to the desired haven.
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