We’ve all heard of the eye of the storm. What is it?
The eye is a region of mostly calm weather at the centre of strong tropical cyclones.
Fascinating. You would think, if you were at the centre of a tropical storm, it would be the most dangerous place to be. Instead, right there at the centre is calm. There’s relative peace compared to all the turmoil and chaos raging around the eye.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. … God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. … The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Come see the glorious works of the Lord. … Be still and know that I am God! I will be honoured by every nation. I will be honoured throughout the world. … The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
We are all familiar with storms and earthquakes barging uninvited into our lives. Those winds and gusts that shake us to the core. Unexpected medical reports. Illnesses that drag on and for which there seems to be no cure. That job that never seems to happen. Inexplicable loss. Broken relationships. Friction at home and in the workplace. Loved ones causing heartache. Prayers yet unanswered.
Not to mention the internal turmoil of hurt, disappointment, frustrations, grudges, and offences which can easily become part and parcel of who we are.
The list is endless and can overwhelm us, if we haven’t learned to find the eye in our storms.
Storms and earthquakes were familiar to David. Like us, he faced many throughout his life. Some were of his own making, others not. How was David able to face his storms and earthquakes with courage?
Early on while tending his family’s sheep, David got to know God as “I Am”. “I Am” was present. “I Am” became part of his every day life. “I Am” wasn’t merely a theory but a reality.
He learned to strengthen Himself in “I Am” with his worship, singing what he knew to be true of “I Am” even though he may not have felt it.
He knew what it was to be still and know that “I Am” was his God. His refuge. His strong tower. His shield. His fortress. His help. His shelter. His future. His hope. His hiding place. His strength. His delight. His joy. His light. His salvation. David knew without any doubt that “I Am” was a safe place.
He knew what it looked like to
be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
“I Am” is always present in our storms and earthquakes. He is at the very centre of what we face. He is wooing us. The winds and gusts cannot destroy the gift of His presence. When we focus on who “I Am” is and not just what “I Am” will do for us, we will find the eye of our storm.
The gift of His presence wrapped with peace gives courage and hope while the storms continue to rage.
“I Am” dwells in us. We are one with Him. We won’t be destroyed by what we are facing. He is everything we need. He is enough.
Instead of focusing on what “I Am” should do for us today, let us focus on who “I Am” is. Like David, we won’t be able to stop ourselves from singing a new song to Him. As our joy increases because of who “I Am” is, our strength will rise and we will find ourselves not just surviving our storms and earthquakes but thriving in them.
Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
In the words of Paul who also faced endless storms and earthquakes,
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. … we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. … so we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
(2 Corinthians 4)