She Won’t Be Moved (Original Song)

Every now and then, my toddler will pause from his ceaseless energetic activity, look up, bright-eyed, and declare with great excitement, ‘pain!’ Now, what he actually means is that there is a plane overhead. However, often I feel like nodding in wry agreement, ‘yes, pain’. My pelvic ligaments, recently overstretched from the arrival of Isaac, are again groaning and creaking and turning to rubber as my body shoots the Relaxin hormone at them in preparation for the birth of my little girl. Now, the physical discomfort in itself is really not so bad, but it turns out there’s nothing like pain to dredge up sea monsters from the ocean floor of your soul and muddy up all that calm, clear water. (It’s no coincidence that Job’s attitude, exemplary until that point, soured considerably after he broke out in boils.)

Ah, a stormy sea metaphor! All the good Sunday-school kids know where to turn: the story of Jesus calming the sea (Matthew 4:35-41). But a stormy sea with sea monsters in it? The same story, as it turns out, works very well. Note the very first verse of the next chapter, Matthew 5:1 – Jesus was crossing the sea for a single task, to cast a legion of demons out of a man! One might surmise that the powers of darkness were trying to stop him getting to the region of the Gerasenes; this storm was supernatural. If you look with the eyes of your imagination, you can just see those invisible sea monsters rearing their ugly heads.

In my own heart, the Kraken of a Complaining Spirit has been making its unwelcome presence felt. You see it clearly in the disciples’ hearts as well, as they shake Jesus awake with a bitter accusation: ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ Now, this is the man that has spent himself to the point of exhaustion teaching, healing, casting out demons, ministering to the suffering and the lost day in and day out. The disciples have watched him do it. He is nothing if not a man who cares, and cares deeply. Yet the disciples’ attitude is ‘don’t you care…?’

I am reminded of Israel coming out of the land of Egypt, their faces frozen in a bitter scowl, their voices tuned to the whine of resentment.

And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21:5)

This was the way they related to their old slave-driver, Pharaoh, and now they had a new Master and King; wouldn’t He be a cruel taskmaster too? The answer is a resounding ‘No!’

He’s been teaching me, in the gentlest way possible, to nip in the bud those complaining thoughts that begin ‘you always…’ and ‘why don’t you…’ and ‘can’t you see…?’ ‘Stop whining, beloved daughter, and just ask,’ He says gently. So, as the waters of life threaten to flood my metaphorical boat, I turn to Jesus, shake Him awake gently by calling His name, and ask, simply, ‘Would you help me?’ And He does. Begone with you, Kraken of complaining. Welcome, sweet spirit of supplication, humble heart that asks for help!

But here comes an even more formidable monster rising from the deeps: my many-tentacled arch-nemesis, Fear. Strangely, almost worse than the fear of physical pain is the fear of the guilt of my pain causing my loved ones pain. ‘Will I be unable to walk again (as I was for three months after Isaac’s birth)? Unable to walk for life? Is there something I should be doing to avert another ligament injury so that it won’t all be my fault? Perhaps some physiotherapy exercises? Quick, google medical advice – argh, unhelpful!’

Let’s be real, Jesus’ rebuke in the ‘Calming the Storm’ story makes us all squirm a little bit: ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ (v. 40) The disciples were letting their imaginations run wild with ‘what if’s’ – they were so convinced they were about to die that they phrased it in the present tense: ‘…we are perishing!’

Disciples. Listen. You are not perishing, far from it! You are on a rescue mission from Heaven! The reason Jesus said ‘let us go to the other side’ is because He has heard, in the Spirit, the pleas of a demon-possessed man who has been ‘night and day…always crying out’. Open your eyes to see the storm of suffering or the sea monsters of your own negative emotions for what they are: ploys of the Enemy to stop you from getting to the other side and winning a great victory for the Kingdom.

O fearful one, so dearly loved and cared for, turn and look at Jesus. He turns ‘a great windstorm’ into ‘a great calm’ with his words. He deals a whole legion of demons a death blow, clothes a naked and tormented demoniac and restores him to his right mind, and then gets back in the boat – all in a day’s work. Look at Jesus and be ‘filled with great fear’ (v.41) of the best kind – stand in awe, don’t be afraid. Yes, as I am captivated by this most excellent of men, the slimy sea-monster of Fear withers and sinks back into the depths, vanquished, forgotten.

So. The sky is clear, the sea is calm, it’s just me and Him again on a boat bobbing gently in the sunlight. I am crossing this sea because I am on a mission from Heaven to bring a beautiful little girl into the world. And God-With-Us is with me – I will not complain, I will not fear.

(click song title below to download recorded version for free or whatever gift you want to give!)

She Won’t Be Moved

God is my strength and help, ever present in time of need
God is my strength and help, I will not be afraid
And though the mountains shake and be cast into ocean depths
God is my strength and help, I will not be afraid

There’s a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God
God is in the midst of her, she will never be moved
Yes, the Lord of Hosts will come, He will help her at breaking of day
God is in the midst of her, she will never be moved

Come and behold His works, for He shatters the bow and spear
Come and behold His works, and know He is God
He will be lifted high, and exalted in all the earth
Come and behold His works, and know He is God

Though the mountains shake, though the oceans roar
She won’t be moved