February 4, 2015 • By Ed Wrather
Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. - Psalm 62:2 NKJV.
Then He (Jesus) arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. - Mark 4:39 NKJV.
In Orland Park a suburb of Chicago, a man only identified as Steve, was walking along peacefully when his next step sent him suddenly falling down 20 feet into a storm sewer. One of his legs was broken with other “trauma” to the lower part of his body. He was trapped and couldn’t move. Steve did have his cell phone and was able to connect to 911 asking for help. It took about 15 minutes to locate the area where Steve had fallen, and then by his shouting, the exact hole was found. It took 70 minutes to extricate the man from the storm sewer hole. From 911 tapes that were released, we know that Steve remained calm throughout his ordeal of almost two hours. Steve said from the hospital, “While I'm in a great deal of pain, I am thankful to be alive and grateful to the fine men and women who rescued me and are treating me here in the hospital.” To whom was Steve thankful? I believe he was thankful to God for his being able to survive his horrific ordeal. (Yahoo News; Fox News; 5NBC Chicago 12.31.14)
Within the last two years the “Keep Calm” phenomenon has arisen with all kinds of admonitions to “Keep Calm.” Here are a few of them: keep calm and carry on, keep calm and ignore the haters, keep calm and stay positive, keep calm and relax, keep calm and never give up, keep calm and have fun, keep calm and stay strong, keep calm and be cool, keep calm and eat a banana, keep calm and dream on, keep calm and google it, keep calm and ride on, keep calm and be yourself, keep calm and hug a husky, keep calm and rock on, keep calm and smile, keep calm and go shopping, and keep calm and love yourself. There appear to be countless other variations of the admonition to keep calm.
According to Wikipedia, “Keep Calm and Carry On” was a motivational poster produced by the British government in preparation for the Second World War. Some 2.45 million of the posters were produced, although it was rarely displayed and mostly forgotten until a copy was found in 2000. The current fad of the “Keep Calm” phenomenon may have been spurred on by the discovery of 20 copies of the original poster, which were featured on Antiques Roadshow in 2012.
I think we can all agree that to keep calm in trying circumstances is usually a good thing to do. But how do you do that? The Psalmist was able to “silently wait” and to not be “greatly moved.” The Psalmist was able to do that by his fully trusting in God saying, “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense.” To keep calm in difficult circumstances is possible, and there is a way to do that as the prophet Isaiah says about his God, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).”
Whether you suddenly fall into a sewer drain hole and break a leg, or you are called into the head office and told your employment has been terminated, it is helpful to know how to keep calm. The first thing to remember is that God is not surprised by this sudden catastrophe in your life. He most likely did not cause it, but He knew it was going to happen. The second thing to remember is that the God who can say “Peace be still!” to the waves stilling them can calm the sudden storm in your life whatever it may be. The third thing to remember is to ask God to help you. Matthew 7:7-8 is still in the Bible, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Don’t forget to “ask” for help from the One who is able to help you! And, keep calm….