I woke up at four a.m with a start. A howling wind was tap, tap, tapping the old sash window frame next to my bed. As my eyes grew accustomed to the dim light, I padded down the hall to the kitchen for a cup of herbal tea to help soothe me back to sleep. My little house shuddered in the storm. I knew the feeling. I too, had weathered many a storm in my lifetime. I knew that the rain would soon pass, and a warm sun would appear. That’s how it is in life, too. Our troubled times come and they go. Even in the worst of storms, we can stand firm, calm, peaceful and untroubled. In a word, serene.

Serenity is a habit we can learn. First, we right-size our egos. God must become greater, we must become less. (John 3;30) Then we trust with all of our hearts and souls, that God is in control. (Isaiah 14:24) We give our troubles and sorrows over to God whenever we feel them. (Philippians 4:6-7) When we practice being serene, we find we no longer need to fight anything or anyone. We let go, we let God.

When a situation disturbs us in some way, it is a sign that we are holding onto it; we are not giving it over to God. That is not to say that we simply sit back and do nothing for ourselves, rather it means, we row the boat and we let God steer.

As the early morning storm lashed at my windows, I took comfort in knowing that God has everything in His hands. The birds I feed out in my garden were surely perched in some strong tree, sheltered from the wind and rain. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26) If God is watching out for His feathered creatures, surely, He is watching out for all of us, even as we face mighty rains and winds in our lives.

Whenever you are troubled, unsettled, anxious, angry, or disturbed in some way, take a moment to pause. Pray. Ask God to help you give Him your problems. Ask Him to guide your next thought, your next feeling, your next action. We can all learn how to enter the state of serenity. It is a habit we can form, even in the worst of storms.