IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
I recently watched an interesting video on YouTube of a scientific expedition into the middle of hurricane Hugo to monitor and record what went on inside the hurricane which was rapidly approaching the east coast of America. The aircraft in which the scientists flew was a sturdy, four-engine propeller plane which had a fuselage strengthened to withstand the strength of the wind and the turbulence inside the storm.
As they approached the hurricane, preparing to fly at a mere 1,500 feet above the ocean, they were unaware that the hurricane had strengthened from a category three to a category five storm with wind speeds of over 250 miles per hour. The pilots had no idea that inside the storm was a circle of tornadoes which made it an even more dangerous mission.
To cap it all, they lost their number three engine because a fault in the engine had flooded the engine with fuel and caused a fire which threatened the aircraft. Operating on three engines inside a hurricane was almost suicidal but they had no option but to continue. After experiencing violent turbulence during which all the loose bits and pieces inside the cabin were being flung about, endangering the scientists, they flew through the wall of the hurricane into the perfect calm of the eye of the storm.
Although they had respite from the wind for a while, they had to face the fury of the storm a second time as they tried to find a way out of it. With the help of a military plane which accompanied them, flying at a higher altitude, they managed to find a less violent passage through the storm and out into a quiet and peaceful blue sky on the other side.
For the past year and a half, I have been living through a gathering emotional storm in my relationship with a friend. My heart cry to the Lord has been, “How do I use the weapon of truth rather than emotion as you did, Lord, without damaging the other person.” I felt bad that the truth was hurting my friend instead of helping her through her own issues. I felt restless and disturbed – the peace that was always so strong in my heart had left me. Did I do wrong? What could I do to fix it?
In prayer one morning, I became aware that peace had returned and stronger than ever before. What had happened? Why did I feel so different when I had done nothing except plead with the Lord for wisdom and understanding? I had a sense that the Holy Spirit was affirming me and assuring me that I had not created a disaster as I thought, but that I had done the right thing.
That same day I watched the video of the hurricane and suddenly the light dawned. What I had watched was a visual aid of what I had experienced and what the Holy Spirit had revealed as I cried out to the Lord in prayer.
It is inevitable that we go through storms of one kind or another in our lives. Whatever the cause of the storm, it is important for us to understand what is happening, why we lose our peace, why we feel as though we are all alone and why God seems not to hear us or answer us when we cry out to Him. Let me list some of the important lessons this has had for me.
- Like the military plane that accompanied NOAA42 (the research plane), God is with us, but He can do nothing and say nothing until we are through the storm. This is a very important part of our journey because the devil would have us believe that God has abandoned us. He has not! He is there but He cannot interfere with the process because we must pass the test of faith alone.
- Without the process of going through the storm, we will never experience the supernatural peace of God that we break into when we are through the wall of the “hurricane”. This means that we must stay with it, no matter how long it takes because we will get through it into the calm of the eye if we persevere.
- Both the violent “winds” of our circumstances and the tornadoes of our emotions throw us around. Our misunderstanding and misinterpretation of God, ourselves and what is happening to us produce the emotions of anxiety, fear, or guilt which cause us to blame the devil or to mistrust God in our storm.
- Like the aircraft in the hurricane, we must keep going in the right direction – towards, not away from God. The pilots had to fly the plane at an angle to keep from being blown away by the wind. We must keep our faces pointed towards God no matter how we feel, fuelling our minds with His Word so that we are not thrown off course by our circumstances.
- Part of the journey is learning to deal with the accusation and condemnation of the devil. This is one of the real issues of spiritual warfare, not our circumstances, but our interpretation of them so that we mistrust the Father regardless of His promises. Satan will cash in and inflict as much damage as he can to malign the Father and cause us to mistrust Him. We must trust His perfect love, even though our circumstances seem to contradict what we want to believe.
- Our faith in God will be vindicated. When God is satisfied that we trust Him no matter what or how long, He will confirm that confidence by restoring His supernatural peace – so strong that our circumstances will no longer have any detrimental effect on us. The circumstances may not change or they may persist for a while longer but God’s peace will hold us secure, not matter what.
Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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