Stanza 2: Be still, soul, God guides you.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
This story of Jesus calming the wind and waves is intriguing.
During the storm, the disciples, afraid for their lives, accused Jesus of not caring if they lived or died. He didn’t immediately reply to their concerns verbally; He didn’t try to look on the bright side and positivize their predicament; Jesus calmed the storm.
Turning to them, He asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40 NASB20) I hear His tone not accusatory, but curious.
But what I find most intriguing comes next: “(Then) they became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4:41 NASB20, emphasis added)
The storm was frightening . . . but even more terrifying was the realization that they genuinely didn’t understand who Jesus was and that the storm was under His control!
Growing up in the Midwest, life was frequently interrupted by natural occurrences that would both terrify and evoke awe. I knew I could stay outside, beholding the “beauty” of the spiraling clouds, trusting that my dad would tell us when it was time to get to the basement. He kept us safe by keeping us out of the storm.
But that’s not always Jesus’ practice.
Jesus invited His disciples into the boat knowing they would be heading into a storm. “Be still, my soul; He guides the future as He has the past.” We know that He loved His disciples, for John made a point to say, “He loved them to the end.” (John 13:1 NASB20) So this invitation to head out with him and encounter the storm was anchored in His love.
Having Jesus invite me into the boat with Him and head out into a storm feels risky. “Can I really trust you, Lord?” “Are you enough to get me through this present storm?”
“Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake to guide the future, as He has the past.”
If God guides the future as He has the past, I can be confident that He will lead me through more storms – and I can trust in His unfailing, unconditional love for me as we go through them together.
Is God taking you through a storm in your life? Speak truth to your soul. He will guide you according to His character – not according to the circumstances of the storm, but in His hesed (patient, merciful, loving kindness). The waves and wind still know His voice.
As you listen to this version of “Be Still My Soul” by Horton Hall Band, reflect on the truths that it affirms and become aware of what is going on in your mind and body as you are reminded of those truths. How do you want to respond to those truths today?