, WHERE CAN WE FIND PEACE IN THE STORMS OF LIFE?
Everything is so strange. In one moment, our whole world changed, creating a surreal season which the whole world is struggling to understand, to comprehend.
Where can we find peace in the storm?
Each of us knows someone deeply affected by this world-wide tragedy – those who got sick and recovered, and those who did not recover and sadly lost their lives. National Health Service (NHS) and care staff working on the frontlines are dealing with new levels of stress, pressure, and anxiety that those of us at home can hardly fathom. All this has completely transformed our day-to-day lives.
IT FEELS STORMY OUT THERE, RIGHT?
Will we ever return to what we once knew as normal?
Can we truly find peace in this storm?
Our chaotic and unpredictable universe is reminding us how out of control our lives often seem. We have all recently had to face our own mortality and realize how fragile we truly are.
Is anything certain? What does the future hold?
It feels stormy out there — but it feels stormy in here, too, right? Chaos within us – in our homes, families, relationships, lives, and in our chaotic minds.
CAN WE FIND PEACE IN THE STORM OF CHAOS?
Chaos is not at its worst outside of us. It’s most dangerous when it takes over within us.
How can we find stillness in chaos?
Is stillness possible without escaping from or numbing our anxious thoughts? — or trying to escape or distract ourselves from the reality of the current major struggle in our world?
These are important questions, questions I have had to dig deep into and wrestle with a lot over the past five years since I fell off a ladder in January, 2015, and sustained a debilitating brain and spinal injury that I still have today.
In that one moment, my life rocketed out of my control. I shifted onto a new life path, one I had not planned for or envisioned that I would endure.
The current world-wide restrictions are actually not so strange for me. For the past five years I have been predominately at home anyway — and I spend many hours a day lying in bed or on the sofa to control the debilitating brain and spinal pain and other chronic symptoms.
I have often felt devastated and overwhelmed by my restrictions and debilitation. I watch so many around me continue with their normal lives while mine remains on hold and out of control.
Until one day … when I would get fully well and things could return to normal, and I could shift back onto the path I should be on.
But I never did get well.
I never got to take back control.
My old normality never came.
LEARNING TO FIND PEACE IN THE RAGING STORM
So I have had to learn how to live here, to find a haven of peace while the storm rages. I have had to let go of my need to control my (or others’) destiny, to climb out of the box of normal living to embrace new spaces in this abnormal reality.
It’s not an easy journey.
I know that so well.
It’s painful! It’s full of grief,
but it’s full of wonder and profound discoveries too.
It means letting go of control.
Embracing a new way of living.
Allowing old dreams to fade,
so that new ones can arise.
I have had to adapt. I have had to change to find a new way of living, to build new hopes and dream new dreams within the restrictions — and I have had to dig deep to find peace and stillness in a life that doesn’t look how I imagined it would.
I have discovered a deeper peace as I continue to let go of the old and embrace the new, settling in my heart that change must come and that life can still be lived in the midst of restrictions and pain.
I must look for the firm foundation amidst the shifting sand.
WHERE CAN I FIND THIS UNCHANGING PEACE IN THE STORM?
In my experience, there is only ONE true and reliable peace. Peace that is described as “passing all understanding,” peace that is unfathomable because it is not based on our circumstances. It is not reliant on a peaceful place. It’s not even discovered only when all is quiet and still.
For me, true peace is not the absence of something, it’s not a place where there is no struggle or pain or discomfort. Instead, it is peace in the presence of something far more beautiful.
My peace is the presence of SOMEONE who is always there, who will never leave me, because He constantly dwells within me. He is all around me and will never forsake me.
My peace is a person … yet He is also a supernatural force.
My peace is gentle … yet He is also known to roar.
My peace is abundantly loving … yet He challenges me everyday.
My peace upholds me … even when I cannot feel Him.
My peace is Jesus.
He is the tangible stillness that guides my life’s ship through every storm.
He is fully in control even when everything in me feels like a storm.
My peace is an indescribable Presence – so still, so restful, so easy — where the burdens I carry are lifted, and His gentle yoke of unconditional love and undeserved grace are given in their place.
My peace is the ONE who has won my heart with the beauty of His unending Love.
My peace is my ultimate calm.
JESUS CHRIST IS MY ULTIMATE PEACE AND CALM EVEN IN THE STORMS
So many people misunderstand my Savior.
That does not mean He isn’t there. He is always patiently glimmering in the shadows, knocking at the door of our hearts, willing us to let Him in, desiring us to allow His Light to radiate into our dark places and to shine through our broken pieces. An unimaginable Love takes over in us as He enters and awakens us by grace.
In His peaceful presence, there is a realignment of His Spirit and mine. I become who I was always meant to be, and I discover the purpose for which I was created. I discover — finally! — what it really means to truly be “me.”
I WONDER – DO YOU KNOW THAT PEACE YET?
Have you experienced His stillness?
Do you feel it now?
I feel God’s peace, the deep calm of knowing Him and of Him fully knowing me. It emanates through and from His Spirit who came to live within me the moment I fully surrendered, when I was born again into His family, when I was made fully new.
He is my peace. my love, my life, my all.
Do you desire His deep peace today?
Has anxiety taken over?
Do you long for just a taste of peace again? For normality to be restored? To discover the joys of life? To retreat to your favorite places of beauty and rest? Do you desire a life that is more ordered and controlled, where your plans are not put on indefinite hold?
Jesus is here – always waiting, always willing, and always longing for our call.
Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
We will have trouble in this life. Our broken world is full of it. But Jesus transcends the trouble. His peace can calm our own chaos.
PEACE THROUGH SURRENDER
We simply have to … let go.
and dare to let Him in.
Peace cannot be earned. It is not a reward for positivity. Peace comes as God does His deep work within us. As we taste and experience the glorious fruit of His peaceful presence, we will be ruined for anything else.
Peace is not a place. It is not an absence. It is not even an escape.
Peace is a person.
Peace is a presence.
Peace is Jesus.
Experience Him now.
Surrender and let Him in.
First published at Becky Hill’s Blog. Adapted and published with permission
Chronic Joy® Contributing Writer
Becky lives in Leicester, UK and is a wife to Matt, mum to two girls, and a pursuer of Christ. Becky and Matt love the local church and have been involved in pastoral ministry for many years. In January, 2015, Becky fell from a step ladder causing a debilitating cerebrospinal fluid leak and chronic arachnoiditis which means over the years she has had to spend much of her time in bed. She also lives with severe daily neurological pain. Becky loves words and writes to connect, encourage, share her journey, and inspire others facing suffering, chronic illness and pain.
God created us with a complex range of emotions which can be difficult to identify and explain. The Emotions Wheel is a tool designed to grow our emotional intelligence, thus strengthening our relationship with God as well as our compassion and empathy for others.