Peace! Be Still!


On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven swans a swimming.

Throughout the Bible there are many references to water. Here are some of these references: Noah’s Ark, parting of the Red Sea, water into wine, baptism, Jesus walking on water, and Jesus calming the storm.

In the Bible, water is used for miracles (water to wine), healing (Pool of Bethesda), and can represent chaos or calm. Water is a geese habitat, so this reminded me of the gift of geese on the sixth day of Christmas.

Have you ever watched geese? They look so elegant and stately. Even when they swim, they don’t appear to move. Yet underneath, there must be some quick little geese feet stroking away. They look calm even in the midst of their busy work.

The story of Jesus calming the storm (Mark 4:37-41) is one of my favorites. Maybe this is because I struggle with anxiety on a regular basis. On the outside, to those who don’t know me well, I  may appear to have it all together, even to be calm. Yet on the inside I am sometimes filled with worry. This story speaks to me and reminds me of the power of Jesus’s words.

Jesus had just healed people, exorcised demons, and taught groups of people. He had called disciples, who followed him and watched his every move. Finally it was time to get a break from the people, and a boat provided an escape from the crowds. Jesus took a much-needed and short-lived nap on the boat ride since a storm caused his disciples to fear for their lives. For a moment, they forgot who was with them on the boat.

When he was called, Jesus got up from restful sleep and said, Peace! Be still! to the wind and waves, (Matthew 4:39, ESV). There was no need to fear. Jesus was with his disciples, and he had control over nature. In the same way, we need not fear, for we are never alone.

The next time you see swans (a-swimming), imagine their busy little feet pedaling under the water. Observe the peace they appear to have above the water. And imagine the peace that you can have, knowing that you are never alone. God is with you. When you feel anxious or scared, you must only ask for help.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven swans a swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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