Peace Through the Storms
Am I weird? (Don’t answer that.) I love storms! Mostly, I’m thinking about summer storms or the tropical storms that we experienced in the Congo. I’m awed by the power of the wind, the energy of the lightning, and the volume of the thunder. But for many, physical storms are only terrifying. Hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, and tsunamis destroy communities and take lives. And those who work at sea can only view storms as fear-filled interruptions.
In our pursuit of peace, storms can be our antagonists; those enemies that delay our successes and threaten our very lives. Often the word “storm” is used as a metaphor to describe other types of seasons of hardship or darkness. We can enter these storms at work or during times of financial stress. We often lose our peace or tranquility over our physical needs like housing or the challenges of learning or exams. Physical illness or weakness are also described as storms in our lives. And many suffer from emotional, mental, or spiritual storms, like depression, bipolar symptoms, PSTD, or vices like addiction.
Psalm 107: 23-31 describes storms as tools used as one way that God gets our attention. As humans, we often forget our need for God. These verses offer: “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD…He raises the stormy wind-lifts the waves. They mount up to heaven, they go down again to the depths; their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the LORD…He brings them out of their distresses. He makes the storm a calm…Then are they glad because they are quiet; so, He brings them unto their desired haven. Oh, that men would praise the LORD for His goodness.” This psalm describes several scenarios where men go through hardships in order to humbly bring them to a place where they acknowledge their need for God.
All of us have navigated various, strange, and unique storms. When we find another person who has experienced a similar storm, we can connect with them in a special way. For me, this particular example fits my own situation of my four-year storm of battling acute mania and psychosis. I was hospitalized three times and sedated only to wake, finding myself in a strange location. My rollercoaster stopped with the right blend of medicines to meet my needs. God returned our peace and calm, both to my mind and my weary family. He brought us to our desired haven, a home of calm, and a place of healing in Arizona. After nearly ten years of quiet, I am still glad for our tranquil haven. I praise God for the storm, for the empathy He granted as a result, and the calmness He has granted.
God often uses storms to gain our attention, teach us how weak we are, and cause us to better appreciate the season of tranquil peace and calm.