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Finding Peace in the Storm

In
June, 1965, the radio news filled the air with impending ‘doom-messages’
warning of a flood that would roar down the Arkansas River near Dodge City,
Kansas.  Our daughter, Anna, was filled
with fear.  We lived in a two-story house
across a field and a highway from the river, and yet, she was afraid.  She remembers how she was able to go to sleep
the night of the flood in her upstairs bedroom because her Dad said he was
watching over us and would make sure we were okay.  As darkness deepened around us, we could hear
the rush of the water as it began its mad dash down stream.  The next day, we met with our church family
on a hill on the other side of the river, and praised God for his safe keeping.  The water entered the church building, but
the damage was minimal.  The storm came,
and yet there was peace, peace after the storm. 
Learning
to trust God begins when we are young before possible disasters hit, we learn
to ride the storm out.  What is a
storm?  When will it happen?  How can we prepare for a vicious upset in our
lives? What are the dimensions and longevity of a storm? 
When
we were young and expecting our first baby, we didn’t realize the heartache
that awaited us.  In those days of no
sonogram, no one knew twins were expected. When delivering both babies and told
one was born dead, the loss was swallowed up in the joy of our new baby
boy.  My dear husband bought a blue
new-borne baby suit. His Dad, my Dad and the minister, who married us, buried
our second son with tears.  We were
overwhelmed with the pull of our new living son, and we felt deeply a pull to
heaven anticipating seeing and holding our second son.  Time finally comforted us and peace after the
storm came when we knew Donnie was in the arms of our Lord Jesus.
Years
later we moved from Kansas to Illinois with our four elementary age children. There
were a myriad of details to be attended to. 
We didn’t expect a life’s storm. 
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, the Tornado Land, where tornadoes can be spotted
moving across the fields, weaving its way through populated and unpopulated
areas, clouds gathered. What are the chances? 
My parents were used to tornado warnings and trips to the Siemens
Cellar.  We didn’t know, until a
policeman came to our door to tell us, that my parents’ home had been hit by a
tornado.  There was no way I could travel
back to help.  Later, on a visit, Dad
showed me an unbroken coke bottle that was embedded in a tree by the house by
the force of the tornado.  Dad and Mom
told me that they heard the warning, and descended into the Siemens Cellar and
sat amid the jars of canned produce from the garden.
They
returned to the house when the storm subsided. 
And the storm made another run toward them.  There was no time to return to the cellar. They
huddled together under a narrow kitchen table beneath double windows, holding
hands, praying, singing hymns and praising God, trusting.  Mom’s family from Hillsboro, KS, later came to
help repair the damage to the property and bring comfort to their hearts. 
More
of life’s storms come and go and ruffle our feathers and discomfit us.  Peace is not the absence of a storm, but rest
in the middle of a storm.  That heart-rest
comes from the One and Only….
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
It
is the Whom we commit to, to follow, that guards our hearts.  It is the Whom we think about, drench our minds
in His Word that gives us hope and joy. 
His Word teaches us to live unafraid with hearts unbowed when the storms
of life roll in.
When
the storm in our life spells change in our existence causing the stomach to
churn with unknown terrors, it is time to heed, Psalm 46:10. 
Be
still, and know that I am God.” 
It is time for a silent Emmaus
walk of prayer and communion with our creator. 
(The Pastor – Eugene Peterson)
Our world
today moves at a dizzying speed with distractions from the One who gives us
peace, holding tight to His Hand, gives us strength. “… but they who wait for the Lord shall
renew their strength; they
shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. 
Isaiah 40:31
God does
not promise to take away the cause of distress in our lives, but He gives us
rest within the storm.  As we praise Him
for His goodness, our clouds begin to show the silver lining of His love and
grace.
The song
writer who wrote these lyrics gives us more than beautiful words but wisdom, Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me. 
The daily
headlines of news scream from print, radio and TV to give terror-tales of
anxiety that discomfit us.  Sickness can
shake our world in ways unforeseen.  The
threat of torn lives and loss of life is daunting.  War, whether in a planned battle or an
uprising of personal anger threatens our very being.  How do we escape?  How do we find the peace in the storm?
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts you.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD
is an everlasting rock.  Isaiah 26:3-4.

God is our refuge and
strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the
earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though
its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their
surging.  Psalm 46:1-3

Comments? eacombs@att.net

One Comment

  1. Beautifully written! "God does not promise to take away the cause of distress in our lives, but He gives us rest within the storm." Oh, how I wish He did promise that, but am so grateful for the peace that He does promise.

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