It feels stormy out there right?
Everything is so strange. In one moment our whole world has changed. A surreal season which we are struggling to understand. To catch up with or comprehend.
And as time goes on…
We all know people deeply affected by this world-wide tragedy. Those who got sick and recovered. Those who never did recover and so sadly lost their lives. NHS & care staff working on the frontlines dealing with new levels of stress, pressure and anxiety that those of us stuck at home can hardly fathom. Our day to day lives so completely transformed.
Will we ever return to the normality which was once known?
Can we truly find peace in this uncontrollable storm?
Our chaotic unpredictable universe is reminding us of how out of control our lives often seem. We have again recently all had to face our own mortality and brutally realise how fragile we truly are.
Is anything certain any more? What does the future hold for any of us?
It feels stormy out there for so many. But it also often feels stormy in here too – right? Within us, in our chaotic minds. In our homes, families, relationships and lives.
Chaos is not at its worst outside of us. It’s actually most dangerous when it takes over within us.
How can we find stillness in chaos? Is it even possible without escaping from, or numbing away, our anxious thoughts? Or in trying to escape or distract ourselves from the reality of the current major struggle in our world?
These are important questions. Ones that I have had to dig so much deeper into and wrestle with a lot over the past five years since I fell off a ladder in January 2015 and sustained a debilitating brain/ spinal injury that I still have today.
In that one moment my life suddenly rocketed out of my control. One day I shifted onto a new life path I was never meant to take. A place I had not planned for or envisioned to live or endure.
These current restrictions due to the Coronavirus lockdown are actually not so strange for me, because the past five years have kept me predominately at home anyway. And for many hours a day lying down to control debilitating brain and spinal pain and other symptoms which means I still spend an awful lot of time in bed or on the sofa.
So many times my life felt devastated, as the restrictions and debilitation overwhelmed me. I watched so many around me continue on with their ‘normal’ lives whilst mine remained somewhat ‘on hold’ and out of control.
…. until ‘one day’ I would hopefully get fully well.
Then things could return to ‘normal’ I could again shift back onto the path I should be on.
But I never did get well…
I never got to take back control…
My old ‘normality’ never came…
So I have had to learn how to live here. To find a haven of peace even when the storm rages. To let go of my need to try and take control of my, or others, destinies. To climb out of the box of ‘normal living’ to embrace new spaces found in the ‘abnormal’ reality here.
It’s not an easy journey.
I know that so well.
It’s painful! It’s full of grief.
But it’s full of wonder and profound new discoveries too.
The letting go of control.
Of embracing a new way of living.
Allowing old dreams to fade.
So that new ones can arise.
I have had to adapt, I have had to change so much so as to find a new way of life that can be lived in this place. To discover new hopes and dreams within all of the restrictions. Rather than constantly grieving the life I hoped to be living right now.
I have had to dig deeper. To find peace and stillness – even when life doesn’t look like how I imagined it before.
Through all of my wrestlings I have discovered a deeper peace that I know is always there to be found. If I will continue to ‘let go of the old’ and ‘embrace the new’. Settling in my heart that change must come and that life can still be lived in the midst of all the restrictions and pain.
I must look for the firm foundation amidst all of this shifting sand.
Where is this unchanging peace found?
In my experience there is only ONE true and reliable avenue to discovering lasting peace. A peace that is described and experienced as ‘passing all understanding’. It’s unfathomable because it is not based on your circumstances going well. It’s not reliant on a peaceful place being found. It’s not even discovered only when everything is quiet & still.
Because for me… true peace is not the ABSENCE of something. It’s not a place where there is no longer struggle, pain or discomfort. Instead my experience of peace is the PRESENCE of something far more beautiful.
To be exact – my peace is the PRESENCE of SOMEONE!
A person who is always there and will never leave me, because He forever lives with me. He constantly dwells within me. He is all around me and will never forsake me.
My peace is a person… yet He is also a supernatural force.
My peace is so gentle … and yet He is also known to roar.
My peace is abundantly loving… and yet He challenges me each day.
My peace upholds me… even when I can no longer feel Him there.
My peace is Jesus Christ.
The tangible stillness that guides my life’s ship through the storm.
A place where He is fully in control even when everything within me feels like a storm.
An indescribable presence, so still, so restful, so easy. Where the heavy burdens I have been carrying are lifted. And His gentle yoke of unconditional love and undeserved grace is left in its place.
He is the ONE who has won my heart with the beauty of His unending Love.
He is my ultimate calm.
So many people misunderstand my Saviour. But it doesn’t mean that He is not there. He is always standing patiently, glimmering in the shadows of our lives. Knocking at the door of our hearts. Willing us to let Him in. Desiring us to allow His Light to radiate into our dark places and shine through our broken pieces into our hurting world.
So that we can experience the supernatural power of His peaceful presence. An unimaginable Love that takes you over as He enters in. Awakening you by the grace that He plants within.
In His peaceful presence there is a realignment of His Spirit and your soul. You find that you become restored back to who you were always meant to be. You discover the purpose for which you were created. You finally discover what it really means to truly be ‘me’.
In His presence the striving will cease as His supernatural rest takes over as He does His own work in you. His peace descends as you cease resisting who He made you and who you were designed to be.
I wonder – do you know that peace yet? Have you experienced its stillness?
Do you feel it now?
I feel that peace. The deep calm of knowing Him and Him fully knowing me. It emanates through and from His Spirit who came to live within me the moment I fully surrendered. The time that I was born again into His family. The occasion that I was made fully new.
He is my peace.
My love, my life, my all.
Do you desire to feel deep peace today? Has anxiety taken you over and you long for even just a taste of peace again? For normality to be restored? To discover the joys of how life used to be. To go away somewhere, to retreat back to your favourite places of beauty & joy. To return to a life that was more ordered and controlled, when your plans were not put on indefinite hold.
Well He is here for you – if you will call out His name.
His name is Jesus.
Call to Him today.
He is always waiting, always willing and always longing for your call.
Jesus said, “”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””– John 16:33 The Bible
We will have trouble in this life. Our broken world is full of it. If we can avoid it today – it will somehow reach us tomorrow. But Jesus transcends the trouble in our world. And with your permission that presence of peace can enter into your own personal chaos.
You simply have to…
And dare to let Him in.
You cannot earn peace. You cannot muster up enough positivity to win it as your reward. You can only surrender to Him and allow Him to do His deep work within you. Until peace begins to take control of all that you say and do.
I assure you – once you start to taste and experience the glorious fruit of His peaceful presence, you will be ruined for anything else.
Because peace is not a place. It is not an absence. It is not even an escape.
Peace is a person.
Peace is a presence.
His name is Jesus.
And you can experience Him now.
IF you will surrender and let Him in!
“Deep peace of the running wave to you.– A Gaelic Blessing
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the Light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.”