Peace in the Storm (by Warina Walker)
by Warina Walker
Peace in the Storm - Inner peace can still be present even in troubled surroundings
Note This article was adapted from a talk given by Warina Walker at Thornleigh SDA Church. The Soliloquy section was played over the speakers with two voices - the first a female voice, and the second a male voice.
A coin has two sides: each side is part of the whole, and both sides make up the whole.
I see that I'm a bit like a coin.
There's one side of me that is me within my world - me within all that is around and outside of me. This is me relating to other people, to events, and to my God: the interactions I have between all of these. The other side of me is inside me - the thoughts I think, the feelings I have - right to what goes on in my very cells.
Christ speaks of something that also sounds like two sides of a coin. He says, "Abide in Me, and I in You". (1) It seems like there are two aspects of my relating or interacting with my God!
The first side of this coin is Abide in Me. To 'abide' is to dwell, to be in, to function in. I'm very familiar with this: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty." (2) I know Christ as my Friend - beside me in all situations - being in His presence. Yes, as Christians we know this place well - it's "the abiding place".
But what of the other side of the coin? "I in you" - what is this? It is God's Word within my mind - memorized and meditated on. It is the Holy Spirit taking God's Word and applying it within my mind and my heart during my current circumstance. When Christ was living here on earth, He lived this way: He said of Himself, "I am in the Father and the Father is in Me". (3)
I'm beginning to think that these 'coins' are one and the same (so to speak). If that is so, then basically:
- To 'abide in Christ" is to be surrounded by His loving presence - me within His presence.
- To have Christ 'abide in Me" is to let go (and that's the hard part!) and let His Holy Spirit right inside me.
I understand the first; but what about the second? How do I have the Holy Spirit inside me? What really is this about? And what for?
You and I have known each other for quite a long time - (well, it's been a long time by my measure!).
I know what it is to rest in Your love, Your comfort, Your care. To be in Your presence, to walk today with You beside me - it's a familiar place. Surrounded by Your presence I'm in a place of security. ABIDING in YOU - a sweet place! Yes, I understand by experience what it means to "abide in You".
But Lord, why, why, why - in spite of our walking together - why do I get that wrenching gut, the overwhelming burst of adrenaline that physically crumples me when I'm faced with a personal STORM that I fear?
You talk about giving me peace! I experience peace in Your presence. But this kick from the inside that weakens me for days is NO peace! What's it all about - and where do You fit in all this?
Did Daniel get this burst of fear chemistry as 120 of his work-peers talked behind his back; found fault with him; defamed him to the boss and everyone else around - and all the rest of what they did to him!? Did he? Or did You give him peace right deep in his very cells?
I need you to answer me Lord - I just can't go on living this way!
Love one another: just as I have loved you - you also love one another. (4)
As You love me?
This is how they will know you are my follower - if you have love for one another. (5)
What's this got to do with Daniel?
If you love Me, keep My commandments. (6)
Your commandments? - what does commandments have to do with Daniel being treated the way he was treated??
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (7)
Oh! I get it. You're saying that Daniel obeyed you by having Your kind of love in his heart - towards them.
But that's sure not the natural way to feel when people are stabbing you in the back - or just making life plain difficult! You'll need to show me how, if that's how I need to respond!
If a grain of wheat dies - it produces much grain. (8)
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, the Holy Spirit - He will dwell with you and will be in you. (9)
I think I'm missing the point! How do I handle the ugly atmosphere when in the company of those who, behind my back are trying to destroy me? You know - in a mini way - like it was for Daniel!
The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance. (10)
So … are You saying that the Holy Spirit will guide me … each time I'm in their company? He'll help me know how to be, and what to say (and not say)??
OK, but Lord, let's not forget what I was really asking You - this gut of mine - you know - all that biochemistry that floods every cell of my body every time I have to be in this difficult situation!
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (11)
Thank You! I do believe You - and I do accept Your gift …. but I sure don't know how it's going to work!
Well, Lord, that was better today! I don't know how You did it, but thanks for the calmness You put inside me as I walked in that door - and all the time I was with them. I didn't get the usual knot in my stomach, nor all that horrible chemistry that comes with it. Wow! What a relief!
Hey! But nothing was different from their side though - the attitudes - the atmosphere. This is going to be a long tough haul!
Remember what I said: A servant is not greater than his master. If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. … and they hated me without a cause. (12)
If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love. (13)
This is my commandment, That you love one another as I have loved you. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; continue in my love. (14)
Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. (15)
Was that really thoughts from my brain? I've realized that I don't wish any harm on them! I've actually got a longing for their best interests?!!!
Lord, Your love is flowing in my heart for them!
Oh, thank You Lord, that's awesome!
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you will and it shall be done for you. (16)
It's true! Your words have been put into my mind each time I've had to be in that situation - words that come from Scripture - like "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" (17), and "Through us the fragrance of the knowledge of God is spread". (18)
And You've given me a prayerful attitude - like "Please don't let the sweet perfume of Your love be a stench in their nostrils - help them to smell a sweet perfume."
By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples. Continue in my love. (19)
Right! The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE!
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, - the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father - He will testify of Me. And You also will bear witness. (20)
I really don't know what's going on here! The atmosphere is changing a bit - sometimes, just sometimes, when I'm with them there isn't quite the same animosity always in the background of our interactions?
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he who is in the world. (21)
The anointing which you have received of Him abides in you. (22)
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. (23)
By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples. Continue in my love. (24)
More fruit?? Right again! The fruit of the Spirit is PEACE!
I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Me, because he trusts in Me. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. (25)
What a promise! What a reality!
End of Soliloquy
NOW I GET IT! I think it works like this:
- when my mind willingly lets go of fighting my own reactions;
- when I invite Your Spirit into my mind, to lead my thoughts and my responses;
- and when I take hold of Your words, filling my mind with them ------
- Your Spirit can abide in me;
- Your love becomes the motivation behind all my thoughts and actions;
- And You DO give me Your peace - yes, EVEN to the level of my biochemistry!
What a loving God!
Take my life,
And let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee:
Take my hands,
And let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my lips,
And let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my will and make it Thine
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own!
It shall be Thy royal throne. (26)
1 John 15:4 KJV
2 Psalm 91:1 English Standard Version
3 John 14:11 ESV
4 John 13:34 ESV
5 John 13:35
6 John 14:15
7 John 15:12 ESV
8 John 12:24
9 John 14:16, 17
10 John 14:26
11 John 14:27 ESV
12 John 15:20, 25
13 John 15:10 ESV
14 John 15:12, 9
15 Luke 6:27, 28
16 John 15:7
17 Ephesians 6:10
18 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 ESV
19 John 15:8, 9
20 John 15:26, 27
21 1 John 4:4
22 1 John 2:27
23 John 16:33
24 John 15:8, 9
25 Isaiah 26:3, 4
26 Frances Havergal, Take My Life and Let it Be, 1874
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