Have you heard the phrase, “trust your gut?” Have you experienced a time when, even though you couldn’t quite put your finger on it, you just knew –Something’s not right? A few days ago I had an uneasiness in my gut/ my spirit/ my heart. A situation felt off, so my thoughts began to swirl in a negative direction. A storm, pregnant with worry and anxiety, was looming. This kind of storm requires prayer while standing in the gap for another. “Something’s just not right!” Yes, discernment was needed and prayer was required.
I had an alarm buzzing and a doozy of a discernment storm brewing that day. I knew I was going to have to engage in an intense time of prayer. I sensed I might need to call in reinforcements. So I texted a friend:
She responded to my text right away, this was of God. She heard concern in my voice so she asked, “What are you doing right now?– Where are you?”
“I’m home,” I answered, “I’m just sitting here in my chair.”
“I’m on my way over! Bye!” She said and hung up.
She arrived with a Bible, her purse and a thin, white box. She emptied the items and mentioned, “Here’s what I’ve got: chocolate and these teabags,” she lifted a plastic zip lock to show me. “Smell these!” she gleefully instructed. “What do they smell like?” She asked.
“Cinnamon?” I replied.
“Right! They smell like Christmas! Who doesn’t like Christmas? So I’ve got chocolates– teabags– God’s word and prayer with me. Nothin’ better than that! I know it’s kinda hot outside, but we are going to have a cup of tea anyway!” she laughed.
I filled my tea kettle with water and lit the fire. When I brought her tea, she set it beside her and promptly said, “Thank you!”
Next, she presented the white, cardboard box before me. Her eyes sparkled and she explained, “These chocolates have this folded paper code.” She handed it to me. It had a photo along with a description about the chocolates. “So select the ones that sound the best to you.”
She reminded me of who I am. She reminded me of whose I am and the truth from God’s word. She said, “This is what we are going to do. The enemy wants to rattle, frighten, and charge you all up with anxiety.” (Yep, I thought, he’s trying to create quite a storm for me!) “But we are going to sit right here with Christmas tea and eat chocolates and say…” she took her mug of tea and raised it, like making a toast, then she took a bite of her chocolate and calmly inserted, “Here’s our response to him!” She took another bite, smiled, sat back in the chair, crossed her legs, as cool as a cucumber like nothing could ever rattle her. After we enjoyed our tea and chocolates, she said, “Now we will pray!”
We prayed, pleaded for God’s’ mercy, we thanked Him, we declared and we commanded in Jesus name. We walked around the upper loft area as we prayed about the pressing issue which had so troubled my spirit. This has never happened to me before, but there was this wave of silence that washed over me. The way wind blows across trees and you see the branches sway. I couldn’t pray another single word! Even though I could think about more things to pray, I couldn’t speak. Utter silence had arrived. Peace landed in the loft like a helicopter hovers and alights. Tears flowed from my eyes. I was washed in His peace. Hushed in beautiful silence.
It was quite an encounter, this profound peace had arrived on the premises. A wall of silence, it calmed me in the raging storm. Perfect calmness. We just stood! I have no idea for how long. I opened my tear-filled eyes to see my friend standing, her arms out stretched in front of her, feet shoulder-width apart, just standing immoveable.
I swayed back and forth, a bit like a baby being rocked with an ever calming motion like the waves were being calmed and stilled then silenced. (when I close my eyes now I can still sense it) The waters of my storm had completely calmed down to glassy waters, utter and profound silence, sweet peace!
This section of scripture now comes to my mind:
Matthew 8:23-27 Jesus Calms the Storm
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord save us! We are going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey him!” (emphasis mine )
I don’t know it you’ve got a sense that something isn’t right in your own life or someone elses. Trust your gut. Here’s my advice. Pray! Is there a storm starting to swirl around you? Is one raging in your life right now? Perhaps it is satan trying to rattle you. Or maybe it is the Holy Spirit prompting you to pray on behalf of another person and stand in the gap.
This is the text message I received the next day from my friend.
Yes, waves of trouble, concern, worry come in different sizes as do the storms of life. Let me encourage you, be discerning, trust your gut and answer the “swirl or storm of worry” with prayer. Pray to the only one who brings peace and calms the storms: Jesus. He is the Prince of Peace. If you’d like, gather a friend to pray alongside you. I’m sure glad mine came over to pray with me.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.
(And for when your mind swirls out of control.)
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Philippians 4: 6-8
He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10
After my encounter with silence and profound peace from the Prince of Peace, I just want to remain in that place of peace. So, let’s be discerning. When the storms happen, let’s make the enemy angry. Let’s light a fire of faith and a fire for some cinnamon tea, grab a piece of chocolate, and PRAY! Who knows we may move from a storm swirling to utter silence instead as we experience His profound peace.