One of my favorite ladies invited me to go on a vacation with her.
Woohoo!!! Words cannot explain how much I want this! Time with a wonderful friend. Time away from the hamster wheel of life. Time to sleep in. Time to be still. Time alone with God. Please. Pleeease.
Except, there is no possible way I can go because I have two little kids who, apparently, can’t be left alone for a week. Ha. I joke. But, seriously, it almost has me in tears. Because I could really, really use some time to be still. To rest. To refresh. I could really use a vacation from my every day life.
Today there is a pot of water simmering on the stove. And a humidifier running in the living room. And an orchestra of little croupy coughs and sneezes. The tissues are piling up. My head is pounding. We are stuck at home with our contagion. This tiredness has me turning into the arms of my Shepherd.
This is not the oasis I want. But I see this is the rest that I need. Rest within, not away from, my life.
The movie, Titanic, challenged my heart. Usually when there is death and pain in movies, I just remind myself that it’s just a movie. But the Titanic really went down. People really suffered and died. I couldn’t escape the grief of watching the pastor and believers huddled praying as the ship took them down. My heart cried out to God, “Where were You that night? Where were You when people cried out for You to save them?”
What I felt Him say to me is: Peace.
As much as we wish differently, Yahweh is not a magic genie who grants the wishes of beings who crave comfort and happiness. He is not an emergency ejection seat that twirls us out and away from the things we don’t like. He is not purposing to transform circumstances. Instead, my Father God is all about transforming me. He is all about me being who I was created to be: magnificently His daughter. He is about setting me free from the things that keep me from that beautiful Life. He is all about me knowing Him and me being known by Him. He is all about me and Him in the every day seconds of my every day. He is not the God to find on vacation. He is the God who is with me even as the ship goes down.
And here is the nature of His Peace: In the midst of it all, He is there.
It doesn’t make sense. I know. I wish it was different. I wish it was about peaceful surroundings. But it’s not. Jesus describes it as “peace that passes all understanding.” (Phil 4:7) Peace that doesn’t make sense. Peace that is out-of-place. Peace that lingers when it should be gone. Peace that carries hearts when all else fails. Peace that envelopes and comforts as breath and life itself is lost. Funny, isn’t it? His Peace does end up transporting us from the horrors that surround. Just not how we expected or hoped for or wanted.
This weird day of croup has plunged me into waves of His Peace. It’s not the oasis I want. But He is the true oasis I need. Vacation or not, I have rest and restoration and peace within my reach. Because I have Him. Selah.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:5b-7 ESV)
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. (Psalm 23:1&4a NLT)