Peace in the Calm, Peace in the Storm

If you have ever experienced what I am writing about, perhaps you will add your comments to what I say.  The feeling that inside of you is a time bomb ticking away– waiting to detonate.  You feel desperate, and unable to handle what life has thrown at you.

Some may call it a burden, or a heaviness, but I call it a need for prayer.  Like the feeling when you have held your breath for as long as you feel able as you are rushing your body to the surface of the water for the gasp you so intently need–that frantic, desperate search for the oxygen you are in short supply of.  You have crossed the line of needing advice, needing to “talk it out”, or even needing some fresh air and exercise.  None of these things seem even remotely capable of handling the desperate need in your heart for relief, for hope, for comfort.

It was how I felt 8 years ago, when the mammogram showed an unusual growth in my breast, and the surgeon warned me fiercely about letting too much time pass when weighing my options of biopsy or removal because if it was cancer, at my age, it would be the most rapidly spreading variety.

I needed time to think.  I needed time to find the right solution.  My time was ticking.

My desperation for help made me feel like stopping total strangers on the sidewalk and asking them to pray for me.  Every person who told me to “have a good day” I wanted to say “I want to, but I am scared!”

There is so much to consider when so much is at stake.  It’s why I don’t believe that “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” Sometimes life is unbearable.

What do you do when everything inside of you is imploding, and your world as you know it is crumbling?  What do you do with the fear that grips you and tells you that your future is grim?  You pray.

I’ve heard religious gurus say “If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will not find it anywhere.” But I disagree.  Peace can never be found inside yourself unless the Prince of Peace is ruling there.  Calm, on the other hand, that can be produced.   Calm is when things are not in a haphazard state of being.  Calm is not showing nervousness or feeling nervousness, anger or strong emotions.   I know what calm is and I can find that within myself on good days, with chocolate, and sunshine.  But peace? No, that is something supernatural. Philippians 4:7 says it this way:
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Peace is the removal of fear and it’s threats.  Supernatural peace feels like your soul which has been cold and distant, now drawn  closer to a warm sunshine, melted, and warmed back to life.  Peace doesn’t need a sunny day, coffee, chocolate fondue, or good circumstances.  Peace surpasses understanding and can find you in the middle of your calm, and in the middle of your storm.  Peace comes from God alone when we pray.

I’ve experienced this peace.  Two days before my lumpectomy, that peace rolled in as a result of people praying for me.  The kind of peace that said “whatever happens, I’ll be okay,”  and gave me the ability to sleep at night.  I couldn’t find that peace on my own. I couldn’t manufacture that even if I were calm.  No, that peace surpassed my understanding.

Several weeks later, my biopsy results came back clear of cancer.  While I am so thrilled that I did not have breast cancer, I have to confess, that the peace God gave me then would have carried me through the fight if the biopsy results were different.  And you can be sure, I would live out my days then as I do now–in prayer.

Are you struggling for breath?  Is your world crashing around you?  Pray.  And I don’t mean toss out good “energy” or chant words to the universe.  I mean talk to God.  Ask God to meet you right where you are and give you peace.  Call a friend or pastor who knows God and ask them to pray for you too.  Prayer is only as powerful as the God it is directed to, and there is only One with power to heal, save, deliver, calm, restore, and give peace.  He is always listening.

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Peace in the Calm, Peace in the Storm

  1. Yes, Cate I have been there. In times of desperation sometimes all I can do is say the name JESUS. I know He knows the need before I tell Him. Sometimes there are just no words and He understands that. It’s always good to have someone remind us He is our peace. Thanks so much for sharing. God Bless!

  2. I remember that, Cate. All that you said, the questions you asked, the gripping fear that life would end, soon. I remember praying for you, that the Lord would give you the peace He had given me when I went in for surgery after months of chemo, just sure I would not come out of it. I was terrified, so afraid I got up in front of the church and asked for prayer. I was so excited when I woke from surgery I just started to laugh, I couldn’t sleep. I was so thrilled to be alive.
    That was 9 years ago this month. Now it is a different prayer as the details slip away, praying that my faith remains as strong as the One I have faith in.
    You are an inspiration, my friend, I love you. Ardith

    1. You know Ardith, even though God does give us more than we can handle, I found something so comforting from the story of Job a few months ago. Strangely enough, the conversation God has with Satan in chapter 2 of the story spoke something new to me. “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” I saw in this statement that God had faith in Job. Think about that a minute. When Job would question and struggle and want to die, God would have the faith for Job. So, I guess in thinking about your desire to have faith as strong as the One your faith is placed in, I would have to conclude that God holds faith for us too. That comforts me in my seasons of trouble.
      I love you, and I sure thank you for your prayers for me during that time, and the conversations we shared. We’ll hold each other up. Okay?!

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