One of my passions is natural disasters.
While my studies mostly focused on the humanitarian efforts of post-disaster response, I always found the natural disasters themselves to be very fascinating.
I love learning about the awe-inspiring power that they display; how regardless of our innovations and technology, wind and water will forever have the upper hand.
Because of this passion, I would jump at the chance to ride in one of those airplanes that fly straight into the eye of a hurricane.
Call me crazy, but I think that would be awesome!
The eye of a hurricane is at the very center of the storm and believe it or not, is the calmest part of the storm. “Skies are often clear above the eye and winds are relatively light. The eye is calm because the now strong surface winds that converge towards the center never actually reach it” (Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois).
That’s where I want to be!
In the eye of the storm.
We go through a lot of storms in our lives though, don’t we?
Sometimes we find ourselves fighting through the fiercest winds and waves, unsure of how we’ll ever find our way out when our present circumstances restrict our ability to see or feel.
One storm in particular that always stands out in my mind was in between my sophomore and junior year of college.
I had survived freshman and sophomore year…barely, and was now anticipating the approaching fall semester of my junior year and was absolutely dreading it.
I couldn’t even tell you why, but all I knew was that I just couldn’t go back there.
There was so much to do; the pressures of performance, acceptance, and achievement weighed heavily on my mind and then of course the looming terrors of failure and loneliness nipped at my heels.
Sophomore year had started me off in the nurse’s office only weeks into the school year. I had managed to make myself physically sick due to stress, anxiety, and depression.
It was then that I knew something was wrong, but through the remainder of that school year I couldn’t manage to find my way out of this particular storm.
I tried to hold onto things of the past; staying huddled in the memories of better times.
When that didn’t work, I tried to hurry things along and force life stages to happen sooner than they should in hopes of changing my presently painful circumstances.
Let me just tell you now, this does not work.
In fact, it only made matters worse.
When we are in the storms of life, we often try to do one of two things. We either try to move backwards and relive happier times or we hurry forwards, attempting to outrun the storm.
Yet, just like a hurricane, behind us and in front of us the torrents rage and the winds howl, but stillness can also be found.
When we move with the storm and position ourselves in the very center of God’s love and grace, we find blue skies and calmed winds.
We find ourselves in the eye of the storm.
Even though all around us the storm still rages; trees snap, houses tumble, relationships are broken, and opportunities are lost; even with all the destruction and heartache rushing around us, if we remain firmly planted in the center of God’s love and grace, we will experience internal respite and peace.
Many of the fears we experience in the stormy seasons of life boil down to one thing:
Proving our worth.
I overwhelmed myself with activities my freshman and sophomore year because I wanted to prove that I was capable.
I sought relationships because I wanted to prove that I was desirable.
I pursued God because I wanted to prove that I was a good Christian.
I feared failure because that proved that I wasn’t enough.
I feared loneliness because that proved I was lacking.
We are constantly trying to prove ourselves.
However, when we strategically place ourselves in the center of God’s will; in the very eye of the storm, we don’t have to prove ourselves, for it is in Him that we live and move and have our being. – Acts 17:28
If this is true and if we full-heartedly believe this, we will begin to realize that we have nothing to prove because it is not for ourselves that we live, but rather for Christ (Philippians 1:21).
If our lives are for Christ, then we are not tasked with the responsibility of proving ourselves but rather with proving Christ and His worth, which He has already done.
He proved Himself. He proved to the world His power, sovereignty, and authority over all things while on that cross.
When we position ourselves in the center of the storm, acknowledging that God and His purpose are in all things; when we stay in step with Him and remember that it is by Him, through Him, and for Him that we press forward, we will soon understand that we have nothing to prove because the One we live for has already done just that.
He proved Himself on that cross so that we wouldn’t have to prove our worth, for our worth lies at the very foot of that cross.
We have nothing to prove, therefore we have nothing to fear while in the eye of the storm.