"He got up and gave orders to the wind, and he said to the lake, "Silence! Be Still!" The wind settled down and there was a great calm." (NIV) Mark 4:39
It's hurricane season. This week we heard of much activity throughout the US - from Hawaii to North Carolina - on hurricanes and tropical storms. Certainly, in recent years, we have seen so much destruction from hurricanes - Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy - to mention a few. Many of us, at one time or another, have experienced the wrath a hurricane can bring.
We can do much to prepare for a hurricane. We board up our houses; we buy water and food; we get our flashlights ready; we tie down or put away anything that can blow away; and then we wait! We wait for what we know will come - high gusts of wind and torrential rain. Experiencing a hurricane is a scary situation. Although we may prepare, the inevitable comes. The wind howls and blows and the rain comes down in sheets. The aftermath of a hurricane can be just as destructive. Although the hurricane may pass, it leaves remnants - flooding, wind destruction, and cleanup.
So we prepare, we wait, we experience and we cleanup. The part of the hurricane that has always fascinated me is the "eye", the middle part of the storm where everything is peaceful and calm. Scientists say that there is even glimpses of sun in the eye of the storm. I find that amazing - surrounding all this source of destruction, there is peace.
Isn't that our lives, though? We work hard to prepare for what life brings us - we find good jobs, build good relationships, have solid homes and apartments, and eat healthy. We wait as we know that although we may prepare, we will have times of turbulence. We experience trials that life brings us, no matter the level of difficulty. Then we clean up, we grow from the experience and move on. Yet, in the middle of all of this, there are times of PEACE - the eye of the storm. Even as we may go through difficult situations, there are moments of peace. I'm not saying hours or days of peace - but just a brief moment - that let's us know we can get through the rest of the storm.
I found this to be true as I was struggling with cancer. Throughout the experience, the treatments, the medicine, the countless doctor appointments, there was a moment of peace. I remember that day well, so many years ago. For that one moment I found peace and was able to move forward.
Who provides the peace among the storm? Our Dear Lord. With His guiding hand and loving arms, He brings the peace that I needed, the peace that we need, to move through the storms in our lives. He is there to remind us that when we experience our storms WITH Him, that He will bring the peace to sustain us. It's hard to see all of that when we go through storms in our lives. It's hard to see or feel the moment of peace among the chaos. Yet, it's there. We have to rely on our Lord and He will not only lead us to the moment of peace, but He will also lead us out of the storm.
As we prepare, wait, experience and clean up for the storms in our lives, remember the EYE - remember the PEACE - remember our LORD. Look for the eye of the storm and for that moment, know that everything will be all right! My prayers and blessings to you if you are in the middle of that storm now - and rely on our Lord for peace.
"Heavenly Father, we thank you for the peace you provide during the storms of our lives. We may be able to prepare, wait, experience and clean up - but with you by our sides, we can experience the peace. Thank you for being our "eye of the storm" and for your ever-present reassurance of hope. In your name we pray. Amen."