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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Tuesday 18th April 2017

Storms raging around you? How Jesus meets you, right where you are.

peace, storms, presence of God

We had no way of knowing that the storms were coming. It was the ‘80s, and there was no such thing as “weather-radar apps” or iPhones.

My oldest sister and I were in a remote area of Canada, on a fishing trip with Dad. When we set out on the water that morning, the skies were a cloudless blue.

By mid-afternoon, the sky swiftly drained itself of all the blue. Then, the sky turned from silver to a corroding gray. Clouds piled up, out of nowhere, and built themselves into a giant wall.

Lightning bolts, like white fire, fell everywhere. Rain came in sudden, heavy sheets.

Powerless, we looked to our Dad for cues on what to do.

We were miles from camp, in the middle of a lake. Dad quickly but calmly told us to reel in as fast as we could. Even as we reeled, Dad tore a path toward the shore of an island. While he tied the boat to a tree, he yelled over his shoulder, commanding us to crouch down by the rocks, far from the tall stand of pines that might attract lightning.

Rain pelted us. I hid my head between my knees, while my breath came out in short, hot spurts.

I didn’t dare look up. That sky seemed to sense my fear, and tried to burrow its own brand of fright straight into my middle. I looked only at the feet of my father, who crouched beside me as the rain kept falling. I stared at his feet until the clouds were all wrung out. I stared at his feet until the sun came out again.

Even as the storm raged on around us, my father was my peace.

I still remember that afternoon vividly, whenever life’s punishing storms appear like the color of coal, as a bandit to steal the light from my life. I remember that moment, because I remember where I found my peace: in the reassuring presence of my dad.

Older now, I know that my earthly father can’t be my ultimate peace — even though it was sufficient for a child, on a rain-battered shore. But that moment has become a powerful metaphor for a biblical truth that all of us need today, when the clouds threaten.

That truth is this:

Peace is not the absence of storms. Peace is the presence of God.

peace, storms, presence of God

Friend, behold your Father, in the storm. He is racing you toward shore, and sitting with you, in the rain. He is your peace, when the sky is falling.

You’ll remember a story about another boat, caught in another storm. Once upon a time, Jesus and His friends were on the water. A raging storm dropped from the sky while Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples cried out: “Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

Jesus got up and spoke to the waves:

“‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” {Mark 4:39}

Today, some of you are under the darkening surprise of a storm. Maybe it’s less of a storm, and more of a relentless drizzle, leaving you chilled to the core. It might feel as if Jesus is asleep on the job. But take heart, Jesus is awake, alive in you. Call out to Him, and listen for His voice, speaking to the storm inside of you.

His words have the power to rebuke storms. And when you dare not look to the menacing skies, afraid of what you’ll see, look at the feet of your Father, kneeling beside you.

Peace, he says. Be still.

YOUR TURN: What promises from God bring you peace in the midst of your storms?

#TellHisStory

Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!

Our featured writer this week is Patricia Holbrook. Have you ever considered that God might be moving mountains (that you don’t even see) on your behalf? Patricia writes about how she learned this lesson through parenting her children. Find Patricia here.

To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer

 


  • How I loved this story, Jennifer! Yes, when the storms of life strike, we can trust Jesus to see us through it all.
    Blessings!

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  • I just burst into tears reading this one, Jennifer. I’ve been so quiet for so long just feeling beaten and battered from my own personal storms. I needed this more than you know. Thank you for always bringing the words, friend. <3

  • Mary

    There are times I need the reassurance of earthly family and friends that everything is going to be ok. But ultimately peace from God is like a big exhale and spending time with Him always helps to center me when the storms hit. Thank you for your words!

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  • Amen – Peace is the presence of God. What a great metaphor you had with your Dad. I have been caught in one too many storms on the lake and in life but GOD is good, he never leaves me.

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  • “Peace is not the absence of storms. Peace is the presence of God.” Oh, Jennifer, this is so true and so comforting. I love the analogy of looking to your dad during the storm.

    Blessings to you!

  • Debbie Kitterman

    Jennifer – I am so thankful Jesus meets us right in the midst of all the raging storms. As I was researching peace a few months ago, I came across the original meaning in the Hebrew – that the Shalom Peace of God – literally means to take authority over the chaos surrounding us! How awesome is that?! and exactly what Jesus demonstrated when He spoke to the wind and waves. Thanks for hosting, I am fairly new to your linkup community but I am enjoying it.

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  • Susan

    Jennifer – I have many stories like yours. In a boat at sea and storms began rolling in. Unfortunately, I did not have a kind and loving father like yours who protected us. My sister and I would hold one another and our scrawny life preservers and pray. Now, in my sixties, I sport ink on my right wrist GAKAT, God Already Knows About This. And, when the storms of life begin to roll in the lives of my three adult kids, in-love’s, grands I look at my tattoo and cling to the fact that God Already Knew About This and He’s got it. My life-preserver is my good, good Father and He never fails nor does His HOPE ever disappoint. xo

  • Knowing who God is always brings me peace in the midst of the storms of life. He loves me and is working for my good, even in the midst of trials and tribulations. I also try to remind myself that while I see what is going on in the physical relm, He knows what’s happening on a spiritual level.

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  • Love this, Jennifer.

    A verse that encourages me is Psalm 107:29: “He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.”

  • Angela Howard

    I am so grateful for God’s presence, regardless of the circumstances. Thank you for writing Jennifer.

  • Seems we were on the same page regarding “peace in the midst of storms or troubles,” Jennifer. Glad to linkup with you. It’s my first time!

  • Peace is His presence – amen. I was encouraged reading 1 Peter this morning and the promise that our inheritance is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” Like a 150% guarantee that what is to come will far outweigh anything we’re enduring now.

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  • Julie Loos

    Jennifer- I love this post! Peace in His presence.
    I cling to His promise of never leaving me or forgetting about me. I also tuck Jeremiah 29:11 into my heart, He will bring me through!

"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over al… ift.tt/2sZh3Gw pic.twitter.com/NnstSc9ZzA