Finding Internal Peace in the Midst of External Storms
You guys I have been living in Florida for about 12 years now (which I can't believe) and the one thing I have learned is that hurricane season is something to expect in September. Now every year hurricanes are predicted but there are years where they end up being just tropical storms (still scary) and then there are years when they are full blown category 3-5 hurricanes. No matter the degree of the actual hurricane, there is one consistent piece I see every year. PEOPLE PANIC. They become like animals in the wild and attack. Their worry and anxiety take over and it looks like the actual apocalypse has taken place.
Anxiety and worry are normal and expected reactions when people start hearing words like hurricane, tropical storm, or really any threat of a large storm. However, as I have been tracking Dorian and watching the path and progression I am noticing that there is no sense of fear or anxiety rising within me (not normal for me). My first thought in experiencing this new found internal peace is 'this is just due to me being in Florida for so long,' but then I started realizing that being a Floridian doesn't grant me this kind of peace. This internal peace I have in the midst of Dorian coming, isn't just during this hurricane season but has been consistent in other storms.
You see, I have found that internal peace is strengthened when I become consistent in my Word (which unfortunately I have not mastered yet). As I have been working on being intentional with reading and meditating on the Word I have found a few scriptures that have helped me retain and maintain internal peace that I would love to share with you. My hope is that when we are facing things out of our control and that stir up those feelings of worry that these verses will help ground us and bring us back to truth. So here we go:
Philippians 4:7- This verse literally states that there is a peace that 'passes all understanding'. Like Dorian (and most storms) it is unpredictable and has no certainty. In other words the external storms we face can be confusing and chaotic, but we have access to a peace that literally passes the irrational chaos that it tries to suck us into. What a great reminder this verse is that we have the peace that can overcome all the junk, chaos, and confusion our storms stir up.
Isaiah 26:3-Peace is found when we find ourselves in our faith, or at least that is what I get when I read this verse. This verse reminds me of the importance of guarding my heart and my mind, because a clouded mind doesn't leave much room for peace to dwell. Peace and comparison can't coexist, peace and unhealthy lifestyles can't coexist, and peace and anxiousness obviously can't coexist. So what am I putting in my mind, or what am I allowing in my heart that clouds it up? Do I have the space for peace to rule and reign, or have I flooded myself with other things? Peace is something that comes when we allow our hearts and minds to receive it.
1 Peter 5:7-This is the most refreshing verse for a control freak like me, because I realized that all I have to do is 'cast all my anxieties' on Jesus. This seems to be the biggest reason that I struggle with maintaining my peace. I am such a control freak that I would rather hold onto the anxiety rather than release it and exchange it for peace. External storms cause so much anxiety for me, but all I have to do to gain that internal peace is just throw that anxiety at the feet of Jesus (again a daily practice).
Dorian is the literal storm that is currently taking place, but you don't have to experience a hurricane to experience an external storm. Storms can come in many forms that include, but are not limited to: physical ailments, financial woe's, mental and emotional struggles, relationship losses, unforeseen transitions, and honestly there are just too many to put here. So I invite you to put the storm that you're facing in your mind as you read those verses, because it counts.
There are more than just these three verses that talk about having peace, but these are the three current scriptures that have been helping me. My prayer is that these scriptures encourage you and allow you to see that peace is obtainable and ours, if we know how to receive it. Whatever external storm your facing, there is peace waiting for you. Something that I want to make clear though before I end this post;
'Peace doesn't mean the absence of chaos, it is the ability to remain still in the middle of it.'
So obtaining peace may not mean the end of the storm, but it does mean that you will still be standing even if everything around you has fallen.
Until Next Week Friends,
other scriptures to check out