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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The eye of the storm

by Pam Roth
Gooood morning, South Mississippi. You have a beautiful day to wake up to today.

If you lived where I do – on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi – this would have been the greeting that you would have heard from our local weather person this morning. And trust me, this is the greeting you hope to hear during hurricane season.

In just the past few days, we have been reminded of the devastation of a hurricane. Monday, August 29, was the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; and this past weekend most of us were glued to the television as we watched Hurricane Irene create havoc up the eastern shoreline moving into the New England states and changing the face of countless number of communities.

If you are interested in weather, you know that the center of those massive storms is called the eye of the storm. Most “eyes” are approximately 20 – 40 miles in width. These few miles in the midst of a ferocious storm are the only place where you will find calm and beauty. Outside of the center of the storm you will find massive destruction and incredibly powerful winds. Pieces of people’s lives are being scattered for miles in the torrent of wind and rain. Much like a hurricane, the storms in our lives make us long for the center of the storm where it is calm and peaceful.

Unfortunately, no one can live in the eye of a storm for very long before the outer bands of wind and rain come to beat you up, again. Where are you right now in your life? Are you in the midst of a storm or are you enjoying the beauty of the calm in the eye of the storm?

Years ago, we attended a conference on crises management. I’ll never forget when the guest speaker asked those that were going through a crisis to raise their hands. Then he said, “If you’re not going through a crisis right now, have you ever experienced a crisis in the past?” And then this was the most powerful statement he made – “For those of you that have not experienced a crisis – it is not when, it is how you are going to go through your storm.”

You see, most – if not all of us, will go through some kind of a storm in our life. It may not be a literal storm; but it may be an unexpected death in the family, an economic downturn that leads to financial woes, or an unfaithful partner in business or marriage who decides to walk away from his/her commitments. Whatever the storm – it leaves behind a wake of destruction.

This month, in the Relevant Ministry blog, we have been focused on “being centered” and as we wrap up this series of articles, I want to encourage you to break through the pressure of the storm like the hurricane hunters do and get into the eye of the storm where it is peaceful and beautiful. Here are three suggestions that might help during a storm:

  1. I would like to recommend Nelson’s book, Nehemiah Response. The principles in this book are beneficial to anyone who has a decision to make whether it be that you are in a transition or a major crisis.
  2. Find the “eye” in your storm. There’s one in every storm. Maybe it is your relationship with God, your support network, a life coach, or a literal place where you go to be alone.
  3. Realize that you may be in a stormy season; but it will pass and there will be a brighter days ahead.
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