Why do we wait for people to die to tell them to rest in peace? It’s a fair question, and I wonder what would happen is we tapped into our “Peace” on this planet. What if, just what if, what would happen if we lived in peace?
“When Peace like a river attends my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, “it is well, it is well with my soul.
I started going to church on a yellow school bus at 10 years of age. I loved it. I loved the familiarity of it; loved my friends; but mostly it was a refuge. I didn’t realize then but I miss the old hymns we used to sing, in its original composition. I have great memories of singing time, singing exactly 3 songs, 1st, 3rd and 5th verse.
Horatio Spafford was a songwriter that wrote “It is well” after his entire family was killed in a shipwreck. Some say he wrote this while at sea; all that matters is that he understood he was going need all the Peace God could give him.
If I have learned anything over the last decade it is that life is hard. That might be weird for those of you who know me to read that from me.
So, I seek Peace. Still.
I was at a prominent hospital yesterday for some tests. If you want to find some of the most peaceful people on the planet, find a prominent hospital and watch the people that are sitting around waiting for some horrible accident to happen so that they or someone they love might have a chance of life. Yet, somehow these dying people are at Peace. And suddenly I almost said out loud “I don’t want to be dying to find Peace!”
I suppose Peace is easier for terminally ill people to accept, and believe. Many of them will tell you that they wasted their lives, and time flew by them. They waited to choose Peace, until that spot, the one where they see their kids and grandkids on the weekends, people are telling you when and where to eat, and everything in between. And it’s just you and God many times, on a porch in a rocking chair, together because He promised to NEVER take our Peace from us.
What if we all lived our pain in amazing stewardship for the ones that coming behind us? Sometimes, I try to remember to be a good steward. But most days there is still that interruption in my spirit coming in the way of worldly worries, that are here for a season, but I will find the mountain soon enough. I try hard to fix things that disturb my quiet, and sometimes I am successful. But, it is the things I have zero ability to change even if I had all the money in the world. Those are the things that grabs the peace from by heart like a vine.
So, I won’t lie, and I am sure you won’t either. There were and still are times I got/get angry with God. Sometimes there are just too many things to over-come. When life feels like it is going to take you down, you dig in your pockets and grab every coin for the phone booth in an attempt to return that long over due phone call to God; because you still don’t get it. You still don’t get all you have to do is ask, it is already there, and a heavy price was paid for us to have it. And even though I just typed that and 100% believe it, is still hard to understand the mind of God and of a fallen world. I don’t understand things that are happening in this world right now; there are many, many things I don’t understand about my story. But suddenly you realize that phone booth is free, all you need to do is pickup the receiver and start talking, because He loves you, and He is there waiting for His child to come running to Him. Peace is there; He promised to never take it from you. I love this verse so much, because it not only brings me Peace, but it gives me Hope—and let’s be honest they are cousins. Cousins walking hand in hand in the valley and one encouraging the other as we seek the assent.
I love this passage
“But my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
There are many concepts in the Bible that I love, but one of my favorites is when God down right gives me and “if/then” clause. Ones like this:
Ask for wisdom, I will give it to you.
Set your thoughts on Me, I will give you Perfect Peace
Trust in the Lord, lean not into your own understanding..
It does sound awfully easy; but it isn’t, it really isn’t. For some of us, anger at Him comes much later and some people stay perpetually mad at Him. Either way, He can handle it. But, when I find myself with that uncomfortable spirit, I try to remember these promises. When I am mindful of this Peace that was promised to me it is an amazing sense of relief in my mind, my body and my spirit. I used to think I’d been to church enough over my lifetime that the scripture that I memorized would get me through life. And there certainly are times when I will remember one of them; but more often than not, I worry, I stress, and I get angry. Because life is hard. And you can never go to church too many times.
We all pray over food, weddings, and graduations—I will stop here because we eat all the time. So He certainly knows how thankful we are for providing for our physical body. But when it comes to the things hidden in the dark corners of your mind, it is hard to let Him investigate because doing so would be like an errant surgeon operating on you again. Life is hard, and it is almost impossible not to blame Him. But, He patiently waits for us to ask for help. Just like manna in the wilderness there is enough Peace for tomorrow too. We have to stay faithful and remember His covenant. Our world doesn’t understand the concept of a covenant of God. One thing we can know for sure is that word is one of the strongest in the Bible—and it is comforting to me. I want quiet. I want rest. I want peace. Because life is so hard without it.
Maintaining Peace is work. And I find every excuse in the world to avoid that work, because it hurts. When I finally do I begin to feel Peaceful and Joyful, which I think we could also agree are cousins.
Because this life has been hard, the last verse of that song is probably my favorite.
“An Lord haste the day when the trials should come by; the clouds be rolled back as the scroll whatever my lot You have take me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul”.
Even So Come Quickly, and thank You for forever Peace.