Deep in the soul minds, tongue-tied by remorse, “They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say”(Nehemiah 5:8). Henri Nouwen wrote in The Way of the Heart,”Silence is the furnace of transformation.” In her book, Search for Silence, Elizabeth O’Connor links honest, humble confession with stillness. “What is our confession? It is that we do not know how to love.” Yes! In my quiet times, in turbulent insomnia, whenever I’m caught up in torrential word-storms, O God remind me: “If I speak in human or angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal”(1 Corinthians 13:1).
Preemptively the Prince of Peace addresses storm-surging brain waves: “Quiet! Be still!”(Mark 4:39). Compassionately he invites crowd-stressed troubadours: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”(Mark 6:31). Sternly and again preemptively he commands schizoid demons: “Be quiet! Come out of him!”(Luke 4:35).
Blessed quietness, holy quietness, what assurance in my soul! On the stormy sea He speaks peace to me; how the billows cease to roll!
Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high! The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, no shelter or help is nigh; carest Thou not that we perish? How canst Thou lie asleep, when each moment so madly is threat’ning a grave in the angry deep? The winds and the waves shall obey My will. Peace, be still! Peace, be still! Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea, or demons, or men, or whatever it be, no water can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies; they all shall sweetly obey My will; Peace, be still! Peace, be still! They all shall sweetly obey My will: peace, peace, be still!
Bedtime Can’t sleep, don’t know where to put my arms; can’t sleep, examining today’s charms. Will sleep — breathing uncongested. Can’t sleep, wishing I’d not said, done that. Will sleep — food, words, deeds digested. Like You slept in that storm-attacked boat I’ll sleep away in unseen arms.