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A Quiet Heart

Posted by Jon McNeel on

Mark chapter 4:35-41 tells us a story about Jesus calming the storm. Jesus slept on a pillow in the midst of a raging storm. How could He? The terrified disciples, sure that the next wave would send them straight to the bottom, shook Him awake with rebuke, “Don’t you care if we drown?” What a great question. Was Jesus careless, or reckless, or unaware of what was happening? No, Jesus knew and in the midst of that storm He was at peace.

He could be at peace because He slept in the calm assurance that His Father was in complete control. He had a quiet heart. When we look at Jesus’ life we see a person who was at peace. I know that some of you are jumping ahead of me and saying, “of course Jesus was at peace, He was and is God.” But let us remember that Christ came and lived as a man, He suffered as a man and He died as a man. He felt pain like we feel and He knew sorrow like we do. Yet one thing that was different was that He went through life with the knowledge of how He would meet His fate. Still, knowing that He would suffer many things and be killed in Jerusalem, He did not stop. He set His eyes on His father’s will. He sat at supper with one who would deny Him and another who would betray Him, yet He was able to eat with them, willing even to wash their feet. Jesus in the unbroken intimacy of His Father's love, kept a quiet heart.

None of us are so at rest with all of that life has to give us, because none of us live in such divine unity with the Father, but we can learn a little more each day of what Jesus knew. He taught us to work and watch but never to worry, to do gladly whatever we are given to do, and to leave all else with God.

Some people believe that they are in control of their own destiny. That we are the masters of our own ship. In contrast, Jesus knew that His Heavenly Father was in complete control. He is the one who sees tomorrow and holds us through today. Our Heavenly Father is the only constant in the universe and Jesus’ only desire was to do His Father’s will. That's what He came to earth to do. Nothing else. One whose aim is as pure as that can have a completely quiet heart. The writer of Ps. 16 understood this at least to some extent when he wrote in verse 5 "Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup, and have made my lot secure". I know of no better way to simplify your life then to see that everything is assigned. Whatever happens is assigned. Do we have a hard time believing that? Can we say that there are things that happen to us which do not belong to our lovingly assigned "portion" (This belongs to it that does not")? Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty?

Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are canceled. Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and by understanding this, my heart becomes quieter.

A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough. Even when things do not seem like they are in anyone’s control. This was part of the Plan (not mine, His). It is at times like this when we should say, “Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup." And I thank you for it all.

So the question is… how can we have quiet hearts? How can we be at peace? It starts with faith. Faith is simply taking God at face value. Accept the fact that God is in control. Be willing to accept your portion even in matters much more serious than a spilled cup of coffee on the new carpet or a flat tire on the way to practice.

I have learned in my 30+ years of walking with the Lord that many times it is not that He wants me to understand His plan as much as it is that He wants me to respond with “Ok God I know you are in control and I am content with that, even if I don’t understand it all”. It is not our knowledge of the situation, but our response that matters. The same almighty God that led the Israelites through the wilderness and fed them from heaven is in control of our lives today. All events serve His will. Some responded in faith. Many do not.

Think of that boat ride the disciples took and keep a quiet heart! The enemy delights in stirring us up. He likes it when we get so caught up in ourselves that we miss what God is saying to us. Our Savior, on the other hand delights in quieting us. Just as Jesus clamed the storm on the sea by saying “Peace, be still” (KJV) He also intends on calming our hearts. The choice is ours. It depends on our willingness to see that everything is in God’s hands. Are we willing to cast your care on Him? For you know that He cares for you. Or have we forgotten that.

When He offers you a cup with His desired portion in it accept it with gratitude. No matter what the circumstance.