Finding Peace in the Eye of the Storm

woman finding peace in the storm of life in Jesus

For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, His love won’t walk away from you, His covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart. The God who has compassion on you says so. Isaiah 54:10 MSG

Racked with fear, I hunkered down behind the boarded-up jalousie windows of my childhood home, longing for the chaos swirling outside to relent. During hurricane season in South Florida, this repeated event was necessary to ride out the storms that threatened our coastal community with regularity.

And now, during this long season of the global pandemic, I once again find myself hunkered down, longing for peace to settle in places disrupted by this unwelcome global storm. Who knew it would all feel so much like a devastating hurricane, disrupting all sense of normalcy and stripping peace from even the most settled soul?  

The Disruptiveness of the Storm

I’ve felt the disruptive power and presence of this storm in my life in countless ways. How about you? Have you experienced a disruption of inner peace during this season, too?” If so, let this Florida girl share what encourages and intrigues her most about well-formed hurricanes — the ones in nature and the ones in our souls. 

Growing up in hurricane territory, I’m no stranger to the angst that accompanies them. But all the chaos pales in comparison to the storm’s sweet spot — its eye. The eye is the storm’s center of circulation. Its winds wrap counterclockwise around the midpoint, creating what looks like an eye from a satellite’s vantage point. If you’re brave enough (or crazy enough) to stand outside while the eye is passing over, its calmed winds and blue skies bathe you in their gentle peace. It feels surreal when havoc and potentially damaging winds exist on the other side of that storm’s eyewall. 

And there is a hurricane-like storm raging in our world. The devastating effects entered our sphere long before the current pandemic. Brewing since the serpent of old entered the garden to turn the hearts of Adam and Eve from God, it stripped all peace from their home, leaving the curse of death in its wake. (Genesis 3)

The Promise of Peace

Yet, even back then, an eyewall of protection was forming, as the winds of God’s compassion swirled around Him, creating a wall of mercy & grace. Inside this wall, all who trust in Him can experience forgiveness and restoration of peace. 

We see it begin when God promises His seed will crush the serpent’s head, reversing the curse on God’s creation. (Genesis 3:15) And we see it finished by God’s seed, Jesus, when He died on the cross for the sins of the world. And we wait for Jesus to come again and bring all things to shalom – which means wholeness or completeness.

The Battle for Peace

We are most shocked by life’s hurricanes when we forget a spiritual battle exists.  The enemy seeks to block the transmission of God’s message of love to a hurting world. Jesus defeated and defanged the enemy, the devil, through His death on the cross, yet this enemy still longs to disrupt the purposes of God and push us out of the sweet center of peace found in Jesus alone. I can assure you the devil does not have this kind of power. 

God’s purposes and great pleasure in loving you cannot be disrupted by anything. Even when we yield to fear, fail to love, or attempt to put on blinders to shield ourselves from the overwhelm of it all.

His Peace is For You

God is not shocked or shaken one bit. He has blinders far more effective than any means we can create to insulate ourselves from the tumult of the storm. They are like dove’s eyes. Lacking peripheral vision, they can focus on a singular object. God’s dove-like vision focuses on one thing: you, His beloved.

So, whether our enemy, the devil, brings his chaotic lies to whirl around us or, of our own accord, we drag the unrest and drama into our lives, God is not distracted from His purpose of loving us – not by anything. He is committed to His Covenant of Peace. 

As Isaiah 54:10 says, For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, His love won’t walk away from you, His covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart. The God who has compassion on you says so. (MSG) Have no doubt, His loving eyes are on you, and His peace is for you regardless of circumstance. Like the eyewall of a hurricane, His merciful compassion surrounds you with peace.

What difference does this make in the stormy seasons of our lives?

For one, the storms remind us that we are not in control. To acknowledge the hurricane while standing in its center is to admit that we are not in the driver’s seat. Faced with its immense destructive power, we can no longer lie to ourselves by claiming the peace we are standing on is something we have somehow navigated ourselves to by rituals of do’s, don’ts, or disciplines. The truth is we cannot control true peace any more than we calm a raging storm.

Second, faced with a clear view of His eyewall of mercy and grace, we celebrate and cling even more to the finished work of Jesus on the cross. We live in the now of this truth, waiting for all that is not yet to be fully consummated by Him. And in this tension, we long for His peace to be a reality for everyone.

Peace is not found hunkering down behind boarded-up windows waiting for the storm to pass. It is in the eye of the storm – the sweet spot of God’s mercy and grace. You see, peace is not a pursuit or practice, it is a person, and His name is Jesus, and He longs to permeate every fiber of every being in this groaning world.  

When the commotion of a storm twists around you, aiming to overwhelm your soul, open wide your eyes to His surrounding wall of mercy and grace. And with outstretched arms, welcome His calm winds of compassion and blue skies of grace, allowing Him to bathe you thoroughly in the ever-gentle peace of His presence. 

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