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She climbed into his lap and buried her fingers in his long, gray beard. "Grandpa," she squealed. "Tell me the storm story again!"

He laughed. "Honey, I've told you that story a hundred times. And you want to hear it again?"

"Oh, yes, Grandpa! It's my favorite story!"

The old man settled into the story, closing his eyes to recall the details as he spoke. "It was a regular day, just like any day, when Jesus was still here on earth with us. He'd been teaching the crowd and so many had gathered that they couldn't hear Him. He climbed into our boat so His voice would carry better on the water and more people could hear what He had to say. When it started getting late, Jesus asked us to put out across the Sea of Galilee.

"We set out for the other side, but before we knew it, the sky got dark and the winds picked up. The waves started coming over the sides, first from one side and then the other. We began to bail out the water but more and more washed over the sides. I shouted for everyone to do what they could or the boat was going to go down. I could hear Jesus' disciples shouting out His name, but it was hard to see Him in all the commotion. And then I saw Him, sleeping in the stern of the boat! How anyone could sleep with the storm so bad and the boat rocking like it was? He must have been soaked to the skin! But Peter, you know, the one they called the big fisherman, woke Him up.

"Peter was shouting, 'We're going to die! We're sinking!' Everyone was shouting at Jesus. The boat was rocking and the waves crashing over the side, and everyone yelling, trying to be heard over the noise of the storm. Oh, my! What a scene it was for Jesus to wake up to! But you know what? He didn't even flinch. He calmly stood up and just told that old wind and the waves to stop what they were doing and suddenly, like someone had just blown out a candle, the sea was as smooth as it could be, not a wave in sight."

Most of us live our daily lives in the midst of storms. As soon as one storm passes, it seems another is on the horizon, waiting to inundate us with waves. These storms come from things we do wrong, things others do wrong, and just natural circumstances. While we may have to live in a world where storms constantly go on all around us, through Jesus we can have the ability to live in the eye of the storm, cushioned in an envelope of peace as the winds rage around us.

In Philippians 4:6, Paul gives us a command to "not be anxious about anything." Since we are never given a command that we are not given the strength to obey, God does indeed give us the wisdom to obey this command in verses 6-9. "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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

How can we find the peaceful eye of the storm in our lives? By prayer, by asking God for help, and by thanking Him for the good things He has done for us. But notice that Paul bases all of this on his summary verse, teaching his readers how this peace comes to us. That eye-of-the-storm peace comes from filling our minds with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy and by putting what godly people have taught us into practice. In other words, when we focus on the things of God and His characteristics, we see His provision for all of our needs, His ability to protect us from what does not fit into His sovereign plan and His love for us that is committed to always do what is for our ultimate best.

As we learn these truths and learn to trust in God's character, our faith in Him grows deeper. As our faith grows deeper, we become more spiritually mature. As we become more spiritually mature, we step out of that storm and into the peaceful eye, resting in His Holy Spirit without fear of the storm that ravages those around us.

Jesus Christ continuously lived His earthly life in the eye of the storm of humanity, and He calls us to follow Him in this as we too learn to live in the eye of the storm. Let's take the steps necessary to step out of the raging winds and waves and into the peaceful arms of our loving Savior.



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