Peace in the Storm


Last updated 3/20/2023 at 10:20am

How are you today? I'm munching on chocolate. An ice storm roared through earlier today. My husband, Wes, wondered what the noise was, and I explained that a snow plow must be working on the road. After 15 minutes, I realized that the "plow" had not moved; instead the wind was plowing through our community. But that's not the reason for the chocolate; it only adds backdrop to my sadness and uncertainty.

How do you feel about the world's trauma and upheaval? The earthquakes in Syria and Turkey stun my senses. I can think of several large towns that are the size of the loss of life there. How do families go on and where do they go? I think I can quit complaining about my ice storm or the idea that I wanted chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla.

Wes and I do face uncertainty-just like every baby boomer and every older person who came before us for thousands of years-or even every living person for that matter. We all face death. My brother, who died a little over a year ago told me that he didn't mind dying; he just didn't like the process.

Last night, Wes showed me his Facebook picture of a group of fellow high school graduates from 1965 having breakfast together. I kept enlarging the screen to investigate each face trying to figure out who they were. I haven't seen them for over 55 years!

My uncertainty comes with the fact that we don't have long-term friends near us; our family is thousands of miles away. We chose to retire into ministry, and we love it, but then the human part of me begins to fret about our future.

I recently taught my students at the NorthWind Learning Centre what Paul taught the believers in Philippi to do when they were anxious. The practice even comes with a promise.

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.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

This has to be more than the power of positive thinking. We can think happy thoughts all day and it won't change us or our circumstances unless those thoughts are sheltered under an umbrella of faith in our Creator. For me, I think about Jesus and His creation. I thank my heavenly Father for inviting me into His kingdom and the Holy Spirit for comforting me.

God's Word is true. It is so good to have something so unchangeable to direct my paths. I think of His noble animals, like a bull elk, with a huge rack of antlers, walking stately near the edge of a forest. I like to think about all the right things people have been brave enough to do in such a wrong world. I like pure chocolate-not really, it has to be mixed with pure sugar.

I could spend hours on "lovely" thoughts. Spring birds will arrive soon and flowers will begin to bloom. We can taste summer fruits once again-if they make it here and if we can afford them. Well, I can still be thankful that my wonderful Lord made such things.

There are so many things to admire about my friends and family. I like to think of each person and wonder at his or her uniqueness and how God gave each one different personalities and talents. One of my friends came out of awful childhood trauma. I first noticed her sweet, gentle face in a Bible study. I wanted to know this lady. As we became friends and I learned her story, I marveled at God's transforming work in her life.

pixabay/MJ Crouch

I have another friend who left Fiji years ago to minister to the Indigenous people of Canada. He inspires me with his heart for prayer. I could go on, but I don't quite feel the need for chocolate now. I feel better. God's truth is amazing and powerful and it brings such healing and peace.

Sue Carlisle grew up

on the Wind River

Reservation in Wyoming.

An enrolled member of the

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska,

her passion is to

encourage people to look

at creation and see our

awesome Creator. Sue is author of Walking with the Creator Along the Narrow Road (see page 19). She and her husband, Wes, now live in Thunder Bay, Ontario.


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