You know something is a tad out of sync when you almost welcome the presence of a hurricane because it means you can have a few days at home. In relative peace.
I made sure to do due diligence pre-Sandy in case she really decided to show off on Maryland.
Water? Check. Nonperishable food? Check. Coolers, flashlights, batteries, candles? Check.
Then I begin hearing how bad this thing could get. I confess: my peace took off like Usain Bolt at the starting blocks. As in, no sleep overnight Sunday into Monday.
When I did wake on Monday, the storm was in full swing. For an intercessor, my response was pretty weak: “Lord, into Your hands.” That’s all I could muster up.
My attempt to seek and maintain peace during Hurricane Sandy got me thinking about how God woos us into His peace in the midst of the drama and trauma called “life.” How was He calling me to peace during Sandy’s passage?
- He invites us to trust Him totally. I recently shared Psalm 4:8 with a friend who was having a hard time falling asleep. I needed to claim that verse on Sunday night! Absolute trust brings absolute peace.
- He develops our “hearing ear.” Often we forfeit peace because we aren’t listening to what God’s trying to tell us. I was so caught up in “doing” that I didn’t create space and time to hear God’s take on what was about to happen. As a result, my mind and heart were not calm, and I missed the opportunity to receive God’s peace.
- He calls us to obedience. Psalm 119:165 makes it plain: my peace is tied to my obedience. God has been talking to me about my absence from the prayer room. A “yes” to His call will resolve many issues. As I line up my thoughts, words, and actions with the Word, my peace is guaranteed.
- He puts His finger on idols we allow to compete with our relationship with Him. I tend to forget that He’s a possessive God. Work, family, friends, commitments–anything that keeps me occupied/distracted has to be reassessed. He comes first.
- He creates community among those He loves. Do we check in on people in the midst of their storms? What about when we think they’re fine when, in truth, they’re in the middle of a hurricane? I thank God for all who reached out to me during Sandy and those He placed in my mind to call or text or message. Peace comes through caring, harmonious relationships.
- He fosters intimacy through prayer. Philippians 4:6-7 always brings me back to the heart of peacefulness. I love how Eugene Peterson phrases it in The Message:
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
How are you weathering your storm? How are you ensuring that your peace is intact?