“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis
Have you ever been right in the middle of a ‘storm’ and almost viewed what’s happening to you as though you were checking out someone else’s situation?
It’s unfamiliar, strangely exhilarating, and altogether defined in your life, a situation like no other. A flash of summer lightening after an oppressive day of heat, it leaves its mark on memory, though soon no longer visible. The ‘storm’ that you’re going through can be the working of God Himself – indeed the pain that the storm inevitably brings is often a catalyst for the building blocks of character.
But have you ever been so ‘kept’ in the ‘eye’ of that storm that you felt it was all just a little surreal?
Well, I guess, that’s where I am just now.
Seems I’m on the ‘roller coaster’ ride of my life. Caring for a dear and much loved family member with cancer is like that. I mean, it’s an experience that at once draws out so much adrenalin, as you become the person upon whom is placed such a dependance, yet on the other hand scares you, making you wonder about what the future will dictate for your life and theirs.
Nothing is certain. Everything is happening too fast. But then everything is happening too slowly. Outcomes are unknowable; so unclear, so frighteningly unfamiliar and yet, with it comes this solid, etherial confidence that I am safe, contrasting with the natural circumstances. That familiar hand that guides. That voice that calms. That heart that knows. That’s what is making the difference here.
It’s like being in the ‘eye’ of a cyclone. That place where the storm is held at bay. That unique, almost eerie space in time, when the lashing of the seas and the destructiveness of the wind and waves is held….The moments when the sure, surrounding love and peace is exuded and envelopes the soul. Though the storm still rages around you. Though you know it may yet grow worse.
‘Peace, be still!’.
What supernatural force surrounds me so well that I feel upheld – though the winds of adversity not only blow, but are currently howling the place down?
It could only be the solid, peaceful presence of One greater than myself. Stealth that expertly invades the fear space. Unannounced but invited. Surely, skilfully corralling the wild horses of fear that threaten at each change of my situation to turn and trample me…
Calm now. And with each rise in the intensity of my own personal tempest, the opposite of the expected. Juxtaposed with the fury. Calling the natural and the supernatural to show their power.
And a knowing which will win.
Every new scenario of terror that unfolds with the days has a plan to take me down. And every time I turn the corner and my way to peace is naturally blocked, the Supernatural intervenes. Like a rescuer promising my survival in the face of my attacker. He cordons off my enemy and releases His grace into me, throwing me a life line.
And I agree to swim and not sink. There’s a power in that agreement. When I agree with Him who’s in control, I thwart the powerlessness of disagreement. When I read, repeat, ruminate on the Word of God and agree with Him in it, that’s when the Power comes.
His peace amazes me. His beauty fills my mind and heart, overcoming this beast that assails, in all its storming power and glory.
I am in the storm’s ‘eye’.
We don’t ask to go through these times of stress and tempest…I mean, who would? But when we do, we can reach out a hand and a prayer to bring this monster tempest to its knees…to strip it of its power.
‘What if?’, ‘Why me?’ and ‘If only…’ you don’t belong here in the Eye. ‘I trust You’. ‘I release my heart to you’, and ‘Lead me, Lord’….the language of the peace in the midst of the terror and uncertainty.
Here are some things that I am learning, ever on the potters wheel, even in the midst of this.
THE EYE OF THE STORM IS WHERE I NEED TO LIVE.
– Being tossed around with every wind and wave of tempest in every situation that I am subject to – that’s not where I need to be. Or indeed where I am called to be by Christ. I can live opposite to what assails me.
THE EYE OF THE STORM IS WHERE I LEARN THE MOST.
– Not that we pray for adversity, but when it comes, why are we surprised? Here’s a verse my husband sent me on my phone last week:
Job 4:3-6……..“In the past you have encouraged many people; you have strengthened those who were weak. Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees. But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence? doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?”
THE EYE OF THE STORM WILL ENVELOPE ME WITH PEACE.
How to release this to Him, when my knuckles are white with just hanging on? Pray, pray and pray. Talking to God – a conversation, not a tirade or a shouting match…I remind myself constantly that God actually loves me! And yet, and yet…the struggle continues.
God’s ‘megaphone’! Am I listening? Am I still enough in the eye of the storm to realise that there is a place of peace here?
The question just begs an answer, doesn’t it? Yet often our answer is the whisper in the midst of our circumstance.
“Speak, for your servant is listening.” (I Sam 3:10)