Sunday

When Life Hammers Its Way into Your Quiet


I can’t see the roofers, but I can hear them. Their noises intrude on my early-morning quiet. Eager to get started before the merciless sun fries them like eggs in a cast iron skillet, they scurry around on the ageing black roof just out of my sight. I hear their shovels scrape as, piece by piece, they chisel the old shingles off. One worker calls to another in a language I don’t understand. Hammers punctuate his words like exclamation points. 

I resent their intrusion. 

I was drawn outside by silence of the morning and the low clouds that shroud the sun today. The stifling heat will come, but for now, the clouds act like a beach umbrella, shielding me. Bible in hand, I envisioned a peaceful time with the Lord before the noise of the day elbowed its way in. 

But life thought otherwise. 

Oh, how we long for stretches of quiet and calm. Yet, inevitably, the noise of relationships, needs, and responsibilities intrude. 

Worry hammers around us, and voices call from every direction. The sounds of work in progress echoes in the distance. We try to retreat, but there’s no escape. This is our reality, until the work is finished. 

As I open my Bible, defying the distraction, I drop into another noisy scenario, one that took place not on a rooftop in suburbia, but on a sea in Israel. 

“That day when evening came, (Jesus) said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.” 

Isn’t this just like our lives? We do our best to follow Jesus, leaving the crowd of the world and its favor behind. Then one day he says, “Let’s go,” and we follow him – right into a storm. 

“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.” 

Lord, I’m following you – shouldn’t you keep me from the storm? 

“Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.” 

Yup, that’s what it feels like, Jesus. I’m about to drown, and you’re sound asleep. 

“The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don't you care if we drown?’” 

Thanks, guys, for asking the question that we all want to ask. 


“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down, and it was completely calm.” 

You alone have the power, Lord Jesus, to quiet the storms that rage around us. 

“He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” 

Why, indeed? Even the wind and the waves obey him

I don’t know where this day finds you. Perhaps you’re seeking quiet and calm while worries hammer in the distance. Or maybe you’re in the boat, terrified, while waves threaten to drown you. Either way, you can have peace, because Jesus is near. 

“Why are you so afraid?” he asks us. “Do you still have no faith?” 

We believe, Lord. Help our unbelief. 

In my little corner of suburbia, despite the sound of hammers and voices in the distance, peace descends on my soul. I pray it will for you as well. 

Peace. 

Be still. 

Jesus is near. 


This devotion is based on a true story found in Mark 4:34-41.



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