Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Eye of the Storm

These are some thoughts from earlier this year I wrote, but I needed reminding, so I thought I'd share.

Yesterday I was venting to my buddy Jess about some of the little frustrations in my life right now. You know the kind - bored/lonely older people who send me 500 forwards a week, not being able to complete a thought without being interrupted by something trivial, being a pretty active family with only one car. You know, nothing I would call major by any stretch, however by 5:00 on some days it's enough to make me want to run and hide.

So, as I was venting, he shared some wisdom with me I haven't been able to stop thinking about. The gist of it was this: you have to find the eye of the storm.

Life is full of interruptions and distractions and frustrations that seem to cause a storm from time to time. Thankfully now, it doesn't feel like I'm in the middle of a "Katrina". I would definitely say this is more like one of those storms that only gets a number and probably doesn't even make the news.

In fact, as I lay awake unable to sleep early this morning, I truly felt that a Katrina would be easier. I realize that He has allowed enough big stuff in our lives that I have become FULLY convinced beyond any doubt that God is faithful and "will not leave me or forsake me".

But on the contrary, it's the little issues of life that I have not turned over and given Him the opportunity to be my Peace in. My emotions and my thoughts. I have not given Him enough reign so that His grace is free in me, to enable me, to respond to these interruptions and frustrations instead of reacting.

I was thinking of how many stories of Jesus where He was on His way somewhere and somebody sidetracked Him that needed His attention. I wonder if Jesus ever thought "can I just get one errand done without 40 people needing me on my way?"

I was also thinking about the time when He was preaching to a completely packed out crowd, and these people start breaking in the roof for crying out loud!! I mean, we hear this story and we're taught about how the lame man was healed and how those guys were true friends and heroes. But do you thing maybe Jesus was a little frustrated at this very rude interruption?? He's ministering to all those people!! What about them? What about the rest of His sermon? Was He frustrated that He didn't get to the 3rd bullet point? I'm sure some would say "that's heresy - Jesus wasn't prideful" but He was human and this was the supreme of all distractions. I have to think that at some point the thought ran through His mind "Seriously??!!"

So, what's the difference? How did Jesus keep His cool and genuinely respond in love to the people that were a constant interruption/distraction/(had to be at times) frustration?

The Lord summed it up for me while I thinking about "the eye of the storm" words of wisdom. Ps 32:8 says this: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye. I heard a teaching on this verse several years ago and it stuck like glue for me. How many times growing up as kids would we be in a crowded room full of distractions, and one of our parent's catch our eye and let us know "We better stop or it was gonna be trouble!!" without saying a word! Or how many of us have experienced this: we are in a crowed room and from across the way we make eye contact with our significant (or soon hopeful) other, and without a spoken word we know what the other is thinking from the connection. A connection with the eyes.

I believe that is what this verse is saying to us. There is always going to be distractions, interruptions and frustrations that bring a commotion around us. But I believe that if we will stop for a split second and make "eye contact" with our Father, His grace will run through us and we will be able to respond in genuine love, and we will see that we are now in the eye of the storm.

I have noticed today as I have been trying to be conscience of little stresses and frustrations, that it does work. Seeking the Lord in split seconds and surrendering while I take a breath has brought more peace to my life and the life of my home.

I know without any uncertainty that the Lord has allowed "Katrinas" in my life to enable me to know Him and tell of His great faithfulness. I can only assume that these "numbered tropical storms" are for more of the same purpose.

Connecting with His eye in the storm. Isn't that a definition of relationship?

(Funny side note - it has taken me nearly 2 hours to type this blog because of all the distractions and interruptions! Hahahaha)

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