At Peace in the Storm: Experiencing the Savior's Presence When You Need Him Most
A friend recently said she felt as if her head was nearly exploding with tension involving a soon-resolved life complication. Her circumstance reminded me of my dad, when I was a child, losing sleep over details of building projects and construction contracts. Most humans are good at imagining unfortunate outcomes. For someone stressed or depressed, I’d highly recommend AT PEACE IN THE STORM. The cadence of the prose itself is refreshingly calming to read. In the introduction, Ken Gire notes: “I write to remind myself that there is that peace that passes understanding, even when I am caught in the grip of worry or waves of unworthiness. I’ve experienced God’s peace before, and even if I reel or stumble today, tossed by a dozen white-capped waves, I know his calm will come again.”
"For someone stressed or depressed, I’d highly recommend AT PEACE IN THE STORM. The cadence of the prose itself is refreshingly calming to read."
Gire isn’t promising that storms will be averted. He’s gently assuring that there is internal peace to be found even when the gale is blowing. “Though we long for the miracle of the outward variety, the only real guaranteed miracle God offers us is inner peace, the peace of Christ.” Though the details are vague, he clearly has lived through seasons of torment. And he draws in anecdotes from others.
His proffered solutions are multifaceted: spiritual (“Peace Through Prayer”; “Peace from God’s Word”), communal (peace provided through friends and strangers, through hospitable listening, through the body of Christ, through avenues of service), environmental (the effects of music, nature, rest and sleep, and insightful books and movies), and clinical, the last being evident in a chapter titled “Peace from a Balanced Brain.”
An interesting chapter about hospitality proposes that guests don’t need to be seen as irritants. As we welcome people into our lives, as we listen to them, God can use their presence to gift us with insight and peace. “Most of us have full lives, with little margin for lingering with one another.” Gire quotes a friend who noted that “what is missing is enough margin in our lives for people, and the peace that comes with being fully present for each other.” He proposes that sometimes peace comes only as we slow down the pace of our lives --- admittedly hard to do when we are nearly slaves to our technological devices and our connectivity, though it is virtual and not face to face.
Again, this is a good book --- short and easy to access. Think about giving it as a gift.
Reviewed by Evelyn Bence on May 25, 2014