When Jesus left the earth, He proclaimed a benediction of peace upon His disciples. He wants us to experience His peace, His calmness at all times. When our lives are filled with the storms of worry, discontentment, or insecurity, we can count on Him, on His Word, to change our stress into peace and joy. When we ask, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
The calm before the storm
On the way home from Kansas City one time, my daughter and family and I drove directly toward a town where tornadoes were forecast. We listened to the car radio intently, and when the announcer told everyone in that town to take cover, we diverted our route and stopped in a town ten miles south. We drove to the school, the designated place of shelter, to wait out the worst of the weather.
From the parking lot we watched the black sky spawn a small tornado which then receded. The air seemed oppressive, as still as a lifeless leaf. Then, without warning, a huge gust of wind nearly blew us to the ground. That same wind later became another tornado that touched down and damaged property. But it never affected us. Like the first, harmless tornado, it began with silent calm before great gusts of wind. Despite the anxiety we felt about the storm, the actual calm before both storms was peaceful.
When we face storms in our personal lives—fears of the unknown, death and devastation, change of any kind that affect how we live—it’s hard to find a calm spot. Some of us go for a walk to help dispel anxiety when problems arise. Others use avoidance mechanisms such as drinking or using drugs, running away, or keeping super-busy. Some practice yoga, transcendental meditation, or other ways to relax and find peace. Still others complain, or become bitter, resentful, or unforgiving.
The best calm in the storm is found in the presence of God Himself. But that calmness before God may seem elusive or unattainable. Being still doesn't come automatically or easily. It takes practice, perseverance, and determination. Psalm 46:10 tells us to "Be still, and know that I am God." The world we live in today has no end of noisy distractions. We may be surrounded with all manner of problems, distractions, and other kinds of storms, but when we choose to allow God to be our quiet, calming center, His peace will fill our being. Jesus desires that we experience His inner peace, no matter what kind of storm we face.
Lord, we long to be at peace. Forgive us when we look in the wrong places for peace of mind. Teach us to put our trust in You alone so we can thrive in the calm even when the storms of life rage around us. In Jesus' name, amen.