It was a stormy day on the Atlantic. Though the sun was shining, the winds mercilessly pounded and battered the eastern Cape Breton coastline, driving the crashing the waves onto the drenched sand and rocks of the narrow beach.

But that was only on one side of the isthmus. The water on the other side was calm and quiet...

How could it be so calm just a few meters from the crashing storm?

I have seen isthmuses many times in my life, and the one we visited that day in Dominion Provincial Park, just west of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, looked to be a prime example. I know that the isthmus provides shelter to the water on the non-sea side, allowing for ultimate calm even when the waves pound the other side. Nonetheless, each time I experience the phenomenon of stormy waters on one side and calm waters just a few metres away, I am astonished.

To be perfectly honest, I don't particularly like being in the wind blowing off the sea. The cold, damp air penetrates whatever I'm wearing; my hair becomes hopelessly tangled; and I risk losing any loose articles of clothing, especially my hat. In general, on such days as this, I'd rather just stay indoors!

It all made me think about the storms of life. They batter us mercilessly whenever they arise, and there seems to be nowhere we can go to get out of their cold, powerful current. Sure, we'd like to just avoid the storms, but that doesn't seem to be an option. Wouldn't it be nice to have an "isthmus" during such storms? Wouldn't it be nice, even amidst the worst of our circumstances, to find a spot of "calm waters" in which to ride it all out?

The good news is that we do, indeed, have an isthmus, The Lord Jesus Christ. Here are just a few of the many Bible verses that prove it:

"This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary." (Heb. 6:19 NLT);

"'Lord, help!' they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them." (Ps. 107:28-31 NLT);

"Jesus responded, 'Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!' Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm." (Matt. 8:26 NLT);

"The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you." (Ps. 9:9-10 NLT)

As I stood atop the isthmus that stormy day in Dominion Park, I realized that I had a choice to make: I could either walk on the side of the crashing waves, or I could walk on the side of the calm, clear waters. And even if I decided to walk in the storm, it wouldn't change the fact that just a few feet away, over the top of the isthmus, there was calm waters.

During the storms of life, we also have the same choice to make: Our "Isthmus" is always there. If we choose to live as if He is not, then there is nothing to keep us from the pounding winds and waves of worry, stress and regret. If we choose to let Him carry us and our problems (and I mean all of them, including the impossible consequences!), then in the same way I experienced calm waters with no wind that stormy day in Dominion Provincial Park, we can also experience calm amidst the storms of our lives.

Which side of the "Isthmus" will you walk during your "storm" today?

In His love
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

(To access the entire "Lessons From Cape Breton" mini-series, please click here.)