Peace in the Eye of the Storm
BY: PEYTON JADE GOTTSCHALK
I used to think I was a pretty peaceful person who took the chaos of other people’s lack of peace as it came at me. But, in this current season of life, I have been very unsettled by things happening in the lives of those closest to my heart — as well as within myself. All sorts of feelings have been stirred up that have resulted in an overwhelming sensation of anxiousness.
I cry even more than I normally do, which was already nearly every day. I scream at the top of my lungs at God when I am driving. I cannot even sit through a full day of ministry school without abruptly leaving to go battle out my frustrations elsewhere.
I don’t want to specify exactly what trials are hitting against the walls of my heart, but I will say they have caused me to question my Heavenly Father. These mishaps have brought thoughts like this to cross my lips… “I know you don’t want bad things to happen to those who love you, and these are trials that come with living in a world after the fall of man, but you DO have the power and ability to prevent/halt these things from happening. So, why don’t you?” and “You must be allowing these things to break me, so you can speed up the process of reshaping me into who I’m meant to be.”
While I am not proud to admit my swaying faith in His goodness, I believe honesty is policy. Transparency is key to healing and growth. Or, at least that’s what I’ve been learning lately.
It is also being unveiled to me that my focus on peace is hardest to maintain when there is a swirling storm of uncertainty in both my life and the lives of those around me. When my life is smooth sailing and my friend is inflicted with pain, I bring peace to her situation. Similarly, it is easier to find peace amidst the anguish I feel at times when I see those around me thriving. If there is an ounce of hope in the atmosphere, I can cling to it — but if all I can see is hopelessness, I lose sight of peace as a whole.
The scripture that smacks my fear away is the story of Jesus sleeping on the boat while a massive storm comes and shakes His boat. While His disciples are anything but calm, the Lord is peacefully sleeping, unshaken by the raging waters surrounding Him. When the disciples ran to wake Him this is how it went:
“The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”’He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” Matthew 8:25-26
The simplest stories of Jesus’ goodness have the ability to shift my focus back to Him.
It is as clear as day. He knows. He ALWAYS knows. He can see the end of the storm, the outcome of the trials my loved ones and I face, before they even happen. He is at peace amidst the storm because He knows the calm waters will come next.
I don’t need to know anything other than the fact that He is in this storm with me and He has His eyes on me. I can rest with Him knowing, in the same way He saved the disciples from drowning, He will do the same for me. Every time.
Peyton is a freelance journalist who strides through every day with a little coffee and a lot of Jesus. If she’s not scribbling away in a journal at a corner café she is probably watercolor painting, baking pastries or exploring new hobbies.