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More than the absence of conflict. A settledness. A sense of stability, whatever the circumstances. Because it is possible to experience and enjoy peace even within conflict, within adversity, change and uncertainty. Life is too unpredictable to lean too heavily on what seems solid but can change in an instant. The peace of God keeps me strong, rooted, it steadies me when the waves of circumstances or negativity or fear threaten to overwhelm.

There is a story of a man who slept through a storm so fierce that the experienced sailors with him in the boat feared for their lives. When they shook him awake, he simply spoke to the wind and the waves and told them to be still. And they were. (Mark 8 v 22 – 25)

This is not a story Jesus told, but a story Jesus was in. He was the man able to sleep through the storm, experience the same elements as his companions in the boat and yet, until they woke him, abandon himself to the peace of sleep.

There are times when I find myself shouting Jesus awake. Why aren’t you doing something? Are you even there? Don’t you care that I’m drowning?

And then he wakes up and with a word makes all calm again. The situation may remain as it was, yet the storm has ceased.

I often wondered about this story. What if they hadn’t woken him up? Would they have drowned? Would he have brought them all back to life? Would they have been swallowed by a big fish? So many questions…more questions than answers, as they say. But the point is that Jesus wasn’t worried by the storm. He’s not fazed by anything that happens in my life; no problem is too big or small for him to deal with. It’s when I remember that I’m not in this by myself and that my travelling companion is perfectly unflappable that I reach that peace that is so very powerful.

I need to remember this more often.

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