Have you ever been in a hurricane? Living in Houston, I sure have. In the center of the hurricane, there's something called the "eye of the storm" where it's very calm and peaceful. All around there is chaos, winds blowing 100 plus miles an hour, debris flying left and right, danger everywhere; but as long as you're in the eye of the storm, it's as calm and peaceful as can be.
In life, there will be times when it seems like everything is out of control. Challenges, adversities and stress will come. But just like the eye of the storm, in the midst of that difficulty, there is a place of peace where you can go. The Scripture calls it "the peace that passes all understanding." That means you'll have peace when you should be upset. You'll have peace when really you should be stressed out.
The disciples were so afraid, so distraught that they ran in to Jesus and said, "Jesus, wake up! We're all about to die!" Jesus got up and simply spoke to the storm. He said, "Peace. Be still." Instantly, everything calmed down. Jesus was in the storm, but He didn't let the storm get in Him. He knew His authority. He knew who He was. He knew His power wasn't based on circumstances. He wasn't going to fret because He was in faith. He stayed in peace and brought peace to the situation.
Now, if you get upset and bent out of shape every time things don't go your way, how are you going to bring peace to that situation? See, peace is not the absence of trouble. Peace is not getting rid of all of your enemies, overcoming all of your challenges or paying off all of your bills. No, there can be trouble, conflict and challenges all around you on the outside, but real peace is trusting God enough to not allow it to get on the inside.
I read about this contest where whoever painted the picture that displayed peace in the greatest, most compelling way would win the prize. There were all of these paintings of very beautiful, peaceful sceneries: the sun setting over an ocean, palm trees blowing in the wind, so peaceful. There was a pasture scene with these rolling, lush, green hills, a white picket fence and a beautiful lake in the background. One was a winter scene with fresh snow and a small log cabin. You could see the fireplace through the window, the majestic mountains in the background. It looked so warm and cozy. But the painting that won first prize was a picture of a huge storm with lightning flashing across the sky, rain coming down and wind blowing the trees. It looked just the opposite of peace. But over in the corner in the cleft of a rock was a bird in her nest tucked away. Underneath her outstretched wings were six of her baby birds. In the midst of this huge storm, they were just sitting there as calm and as peaceful as can be.
Remember, peace is not the absence of trouble. Peace is knowing that God is right there with you in the midst of the trouble. In the Psalms, it talks about how God will cover us with His wings. He will hide us in the rock. What am I saying? Don't wait for all of your problems to resolve and then decide to quit worrying. No, decide to trust God no matter what is happening around you. Find the place of peace and make up your mind that you're going to have peace right in the midst of the storm.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27, NIV)