A calming presence

A calming presence: That’s the phrase that came to mind as I thought about my dad on Father’s Day. He was a commercial fisherman and he would be out in the ocean fishing for a few days at a time. Sometimes when he was gone, there would be tension in our home for a variety of reasons. All stress did not magically disappear when he returned. But life was always more peaceful and calm when Dad was home.

Our world could certainly use more people who are a calming presence. Sadly, some people cause the stress level to rise as soon as they enter a room. Their critical words create tension. People worry about making them mad. There is anxious anticipation that anger and conflict will soon rear its head.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Trying to make peace between people is hard work that is often discouraging. But Jesus promises those who desire to make peace and who work toward that end are blessed. When our heart’s desire is to bring peace and calm to relationships we show we belong to God. We are children who look like our Father in heaven when our priority is not getting our own way but creating peace.

To those who have faith in Christ, God is the ultimate calming presence. Jesus, by sacrificing His life on the cross for our sins, brings peace between us and God. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). The separation because of sin is no more because of the cross.

The payment for our sin has been paid for by Jesus, so we no longer fear judgment. We don’t worry that one day God may get angry with us and decide He doesn’t want us anymore. Instead, we calmly rest in God’s love and grace.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Calm down. Relax. Know that God is on the throne, now and forever. He is in charge and He has everything under control. “Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you” (Psalm 116:7). Your soul is invited to take a deep breath and rest in the goodness and grace of God. The Almighty God has been good to you and He will continue to do what is good and right. Don’t fear. Be still.

My dad was a calming presence because I knew he loved me. I trusted he would keep me safe and handle whatever came along. Because of his calm nature I didn’t worry about him getting mad. Instead I expected an invitation to get ice cream and watch a ball game. In a similar but much greater way, when we know Christ we peacefully live with the confidence we are loved and cared for by God. We can calmly live with the expectation that God will be gracious. “I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul … put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore” (Psalm 131:1-3).