Things have been incredibly stressful for individuals here since the volcanic eruptions began.
Anxiety is heightened for those who live in communities like mine who are already struggling with poverty before the eruptions began. However, the greatest anxiety is for those who are displaced from “red zone” areas.
One of the sister-churches of Tabernacle Baptist is in the area of Fits-Hughes, which is very close to Chateaubelair, where the volcanic eruptions did serious damage with ashes.
At this time it isn’t possible to travel there by vehicle, and the area itself is viewed as “unliveable” because of the amount of ashes on the ground. It will probably take six to seven months before individuals can move back in comfortably.
A Believer from the church in Fits-Hughes came by a few Sundays ago to make sure we were having services. He told me that he’d be back yesterday. Sure enough, he showed up before church, so we were able to have some fellowship together.
I was struck by the calmness and peace in this mans heart, which was remarkable considering he had to leave not only his home. but his livelihood since he was a farmer.
Again and again in our conversation he thanked the Lord for His goodness, and expressed a desire to serve Him in good and bad situations. We were also blessed by a short testimony of Gods goodness during a praise time during the service.
More than anything, this mans life and attitude was marked by a peace. A peace n a very stressful situation that can only come from God.
As I thought about his testimony yesterday, my mind was reminded a Christians life should be marked by peace
There will of course be experiences of emotion or anxiety, but for the most part, the Holy Spirit gives to us a calmness in a crisis. This peace is an incredible blessing since it loudly proclaims the Gospel through a transformed life.
This peace is also in contrast to the world, that is filled with anger and frustration.
last Wednesday afternoon I took some short-term missionaries from Campden Park down to my side of the island. Driving past the church, we saw two women standing near each other in the road loudly shouting and cursing. In a small way, this illustrates the sinful response to pressure or stress.
Life is frustrating and heaps great amounts of anxiety upon our hearts. This is why we must turn to the Lord with our burdens. When we give everything back to God with an open hand, He fill our hearts with a peace.
A peace that shines brightly in the world of anger and bitterness.