I used to live along the Gulf Coast of Texas. As a result, I had the dubious “privilege” of living through a number of hurricanes. A couple were enormous monsters that my family had to flee inland to get away from. Hurricanes are quite unlike other natural disasters because they have multiple weapons in their destructive arsenals. Of course, a hurricane has strong winds. Hurricane Allen which passed near my hometown had recorded winds of 190 mph! What makes the winds even worse is that if you are in the direct path of the storm, you will experience winds going one direction; then when the eye passes the winds shift to the opposite direction. It is a deadly one-two punch. If the hurricanes’ own winds were not enough, hurricanes produce tornadoes. Hurricane Ivan spawned some 180 tornadoes! If you are close to the ocean, you have to be concerned about super high tides and storm surges. Katrina’s storm surge was 27 feet. (My hometown was only 20’ above sea level!) And then there is rain and flooding. One hurricane – Carla – that passed near us caused serious and deadly flooding as far as Kansas!
Another unique feature of a hurricane is called the “eye”. The eye is an area some 20 to 40 miles across directly at the center of the storm. Should you have the incredible experience of having the eye of the storm pass right over you, you would find yourself in a circle of complete calm! The clouds are usually gone and the sun shines through! It is an incredible experience; although you do not want to be outside of a shelter when the eye passes on! The worst winds of the storm are those in the eyewall.
I share all this as I ponder if the eye of the hurricane is not unlike the peace of God. Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27; NKJ)
Jesus promises us peace! That sounds great doesn’t it? But then he tells us that it is not peace as the world would give or even know. Most people think of peace as complete calm. A complete cessation of problems and conflict. That might be nice to imagine; but the fact is that we will never experience that imaginary state in this world. I do not think I even need to argue the point given our current state of world affairs! In this very same discourse with his disciples, Jesus says:
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage—I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33; NET)
So, what kind of peace is Jesus talking about? I call it “eye of the hurricane” peace. It is a supernatural, Holy Spirit given state of calm and trust that operates even as the storm rages all around us! It is not wrong for us to ask God to remove this problem or that. It is not wrong to ask for God to intervene to resolve a stressful issue. We always have the privilege of doing that as the children of God. Sometimes God does completely calm the storm. He did that quite literally on the sea of Galilee for his terrified disciples. Yes, he may calm the storm; but he does not always do that for reasons only he knows. But what God will always do for you, is give you peace in the middle of the storm. He will always be with you in the storm. His presence is with you, His Spirit indwells you and he will supply you with his marvelous peace. It is the peace that Paul says, “passes understanding”. That is because it is a peace that cannot be explained by the stormy circumstances. It is a peace that cannot be explained as any natural reaction. It is a peace that can only come from God himself. And the great thing is that he has promised it to you! It is yours for the asking!
P.S. How has God given you peace in these stressful times? Leave a comment below! Also please subscribe to this blog and share it with your friends. Also you can sign up for our email alerts.