Perfect Peace


Last weekend we took a drive out to my brother’s home in Winchester, VA. The ride in itself is peaceful, and I always enjoy seeing the hillsides dotted with dairy cows and sheep along the way. As we crossed  over the Shenandoah River, the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains came into view, revealing the slightest hint of fall colors beginning to show along their peaks.

Hidden Treasure

The highlight of my visit is a short walk down the winding path to a hidden gem, a treasure tucked behind a grove of hickory trees. I’ve named it Peaceful Pond, because that is what it is to me. Tranquility. Serenity. Peace-filled.

It is a tiny farm pond, probably only 6 feet deep at its center, and less than an acre in size, but it has abundant life within it and along the muddy banks.

What I most treasure is the sound of the pond . . . a beautiful melodic blend of birdsong and leaves fluttering in the fall breeze. It is the very sound of nature.

And there is an abundance of colorful wildflowers and weeds rimming the pond’s edge, with pink, purple and yellow petals, and plenty of cattails.

We’ve seen turtles and frogs, geese and Red-Winged Blackbirds. The pond is teaming with Largemouth Bass and Bluegill. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon casting and reeling to your heart’s content. And if you take time to look for them, you will also see the tracks of raccoon, squirrel and deer left in the mud where they stopped for a drink.

We all need a spot like this . . . a place for peace, a getaway when life becomes overwhelming, as it seems to be most days of late. It serves as a reminder that there is peace in the simplicity and perfection of God’s creation.

☁️🌥⛅️🌤☀️

Yes, these are unsettling times. There is so much uncertainty, so much anxiety and so much stress. Behind our masks, there is fear and anguish. We have lost our way and we each need to find a place of peace.

I am reminded of a verse from the prophet Isaiah:

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” — Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭

Where can we find “perfect peace”? Is there such a thing?

When I find myself lately being drawn into despair, I turn my thoughts back to Jesus, my Rock and the source of all peace. It is a peace found not only beside quiet ponds in the woods, but in the midst of the chaos around us. His peace is steadfast and ever-present. Be still and trust that God remains in control.

No Words

I have no words of my own to share this week. None will adequately address what we are witnessing, or the pain and hurt so many are feeling.

My only comfort is found in God’s Word, and I share these verses with you:

God is My Protector

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. — Psalms‬ ‭28:7‬ (NKJV)

God is My Strength

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭(NIV‬‬)

God Knows My Heart

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. — Psalms‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭(NIV‬‬)

I Am Never Alone

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. — 1 Peter‬ ‭5:8-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I Place My Trust in God

When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), In the LORD (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? — Psalms‬ ‭56:9-11‬ ‭(NKJV‬‬)

Love Overcomes Hate

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. — Matthew‬ ‭5:43-45‬ ‭(NKJV‬‬)

 
I join you in praying for peace, healing and reconciliation.