The Stilling of Our Souls
Storm clouds pile up over a gray expanse of ocean, threatening a deluge of what the secular love to call “biblical proportions.” Jagged lightning links the short distance between the black cloud bottoms and the roiling waves. Gulls and petrels, pushed by unseen air currents, struggle to fly southward down the beach.
Most watchers would be glad to be on land just now, feeling the wet sand underfoot, taking comfort in the shrubs and stunted trees that hug this strip of earth. Yet half a mile out to sea, a fishing boat toils in the wind-lashed sea toward the safety of the harbor.
It is God’s church, caught in yet another storm—a fragile ship, by some accounts. Low in the water, laden with the hundreds it has rescued from other sinking vessels, it finds itself in all-too-familiar adversity. Waves of circumstances—economic, political, logistical—threaten to send it to the bottom. Critics predict its quick demise. In their minds, if not on paper, they lay odds on when it must surely sink.
They cannot know what every buffeted passenger on board must know: this is the safest place in the universe just now, for Jesus is on board. In the center of God’s church He stands, resolute and calm, reminding us by His Word and His presence that though many reject His rule, “the waves and winds still know His Voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.”
This toiling ship will soon reach harbor; the danger and the storm will soon be past. We ride the waves with the “Master of earth and sea and sky,” and in that certainty our fear melts and quiet joy returns. Fifteen million restless souls are stilled, not by calm sailing, but because we have on board the Captain of God’s church.
Those who choose to stay on board have grasped the all-important truth that grows from growing confidence in Jesus: God’s church will safely arrive in harbor. “All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.”
— Bill Knott