For those of you who aren't already aware, I just survived a hurricane.
Hurricane Matthew, which at one point was a Category 5, has already claimed over a thousand lives, most of them in the impoverished nation of Haiti. It was a powerhouse of wind and waves, with winds gusting up to 160 miles per hour at one point.
And it was headed right toward us.
In all honesty, I was terrified. Although I craved an element of excitement in my life, the idea of a monster of a storm hitting us frightened me. All the models started pointing it right in our direction, predicting that it would make landfall almost right where I lived.
As the models grew more and more certain, we packed our bags and stuffed our minivan full of stuff. I boxed up my books and stored away as many of them in my closet as possible. A part of me wondered whether or not I would ever see my home again. Sure, our home was supposed to be extremely sturdy; but fear claimed a part of my heart and made me doubt.
Yet something happened. Something that could only be called a miracle.
The storm shifted.
Instead of making landfall, the hurricane veered 20 miles off course. Those 20 miles made all the difference. There was only minimal damage, with some trees, signs, and fences down. A few shingles were blown off some houses. The gate to our fence blew off its hinges. But we were miraculously saved.
Someone intervened. Someone who has power over the wind and the waves. Someone who holds the seas in the palm of His hand.
Someone who calms.
In all this turmoil, God whispered something to my disquieted soul: Be still.
I tried to combat this with my anxious thoughts. I have too much to prepare. There's no time for relaxing.
Yet He persisted. Be still.
My restless heart could still not be persuaded. But what if it hits? What if we lose everything?
He whispered, Be still and know that I am God.
I continued to ignore His voice. Deep inside, I knew who was really in control. But I wasn't sure if He could really do it. After all, how could the hurricane miraculously shift when all the models seemed to say otherwise?
But I had forgotten something: there is calm in the storm.
He is the eye of the storm. As paradoxical as it may seem, when we are at our lowest point, when a hurricane of troubles seems to be pounding us mercilessly, we can find rest in the middle of it all. There is a calm that can be found in the very core of our troubles when we look to the right source. Just like the eye of the storm, God is a steady source of peace. In His presence, we can find rest. Though the strongest gales may assail us just outside the eye, we can be still and know that He is God.
He is the lighthouse in the swirling fog.
He is the calm in the storm.
The world may seem to be crashing down on us, like breakers on the ocean, but we need to remember why we're in the storm. Through the turbulence of life's sorrows and heartbreaks, worries and fears, we can find our greatest joy and peace if we only learn to be still.
Remember who spoke the world into existence. And find peace in the knowledge that He is holding our hand. He will not let our hand slip out of His grasp. His love is holding us.
It can be difficult to rest when everything seems to be going awry, but true peace can only come when we cast our cares upon the Creator. Letting go of our deepest fears and allowing Him to heal the scars is such a cleansing feeling. Only when we pass through the waves can we be broken enough to find peace. God puts us through the storm so that we can find the calm. He wants to ease our burdened hearts...if only we have the courage to be still.
Here are some songs that have been ministering to me lately:
I've been meaning to write another devotional post for a long time, but no inspiration had really settled in until now. Leave it to God to work the worst things into beautiful revelations!