December 3, 2018

A short bucket list

About 12” of fresh snow fell yesterday and last night. While the roads are hazardous, the snow covers and makes the landscape lovely. It looks peaceful out there.

I often associate peace with the landscape. When a young mother, I put that tag on afternoons when my children agreeably and quietly played or colored or read books. Peace is also the television turned off, maybe the sound of one bird singing, a soft breeze, aspen leaves shaking, no cars or buses, no bad news and no pain.

Rereading that list, I see that all of it is about external peace. This reminds me of something my daughter said during this time of year when she was a teen. We were grocery shopping and I remarked how everyone was in such a hurry, including ourselves. She said, “But mom, we don’t have to hurry on the inside.”

To this day, I’m certain that was a word from the Lord. Dear daughter does not remember saying it, but I never forgot. It is my reminder that peace does not have to mean absence of war, conflict, activity or noise. God can give His peace even in the midst of chaos.

In his devotional for today, Tozer wrote: “To be able to look into God’s face and know with the knowledge of faith that there is nothing between the soul and Him is to experience the fullest peace the soul can know.”

There is a peace that begins in the deepest part and ripples out through the rest of me. It is Holy Spirit peace, a deep sense that all is well because God is trusted, no matter what else happening. It is His peace — accompanying His joy and both fill my heart when I abide in His love.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:9–11)

Abiding is a neat word. It means to stay put, continue. In this case, it is to obey God as long and often as possible. The promise is that in that abiding, joy comes, joy that erases fear, tension and sadness. Anything uncomfortable fades into the background, into oblivion.

Jesus, this is not my every day mood, but because of Your grace, I have experienced it for short times and a few long times. I know that such incredible peace is possible. It shows me that You keep this remarkable promise and hold it out for me as a life-goal. If I never get to an island paradise or a place where there is no outside stress at all, You are still able and willing to give me this amazing, indescribable peace.

1 comment:

Darrell said...

Where is it you live, Elsie? Here in Maine, there's just a dusting of snow.