Not long ago, my husband was reading an article on the most stressful situations people encounter. Of the ten on the list, we had been through over half of them in the last eighteen months, alone. That’s pretty significant when we’ve been married less than three years! For starters, we moved twelve-hundred miles across the country. Not once but twice. We also suffered the loss of a child, brother, and grandfather, gave birth to a healthy child, and experienced financial strain in the process. Nevermind my husband’s emergency appendectomy, the ongoing challenge of my health, and a variety of other things that aren’t worth mentioning.
Just when life seemed to settle down, another wave – for better or worse – would crash. I can honestly say, that there have been many moments of doubt. Not just doubt, but the absence of peace. Jesus tells us in John that he is giving us supernatural peace. But so often, I found my own fears muddling the gift of its presence. I’ve had to be intentional with my focus. And if you’re struggling to endure the storm, you need to do the same. Here’s where to start.
First, we must remember who our God is. Our instinct is to doubt, even question, that he is orchestrating things for our good. Yet, he compels us to remember who he is, what he has done, and what he is doing. He is not always visibly acting in our lives, but we can know that he is moving behind the scenes in preparation for the next step.
Next, we must cling to what he has promised us. God does not guarantee an easy road. He promises refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1), rest (Matthew 11:28-30), and eternal life (John 2:25). His Word reminds us that life on this earth will have troubles. And in that same breath, he reminds us, “[Take] heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)
Third, we must surrender our desires to his will. In her debut solo album, Hillary Scott makes a bold statement after suffering a miscarriage: Thy will be done. A beautiful phrase pulled directly from the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:10, she does the very difficult thing we are all called to do. Surrender.
Despite our yearning to escape the storm, we are called to surrender our will and trust that God truly knows what’s best for us.
We can only embrace supernatural peace in the storm when we are willing to relinquish all control. It would be nice if we could manipulate the outcome. In our minds, we find comfort in the mere idea of controlling how things transpire. But his ways are above our ways; beyond our ability to understand. (Isaiah 55:9) He asks us to trust his knowledge of past, present, and future and lay aside our limited grasp.
By faith, we must move forward believing that he’s got it under control. Regardless if we can see the clear skies on the other side. We aren’t guaranteed that our problems will magically vanish. Instead, we are greeted with rest (Matthew 11:28-30), refuge (Psalm 92:1), and peace.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27 NIV)
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. (C.S. Lewis)