Finding Peace Amid Turmoil – Dec. 3rd, 2018
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again.”
John 6:35 (CSB)
About 3AM, Mic the cat woke me as he instinctively shot from his resting position at my feet to a point somewhere roughly four feet above the bed. The next thing I was aware of was that Annie the dog was attempting to burrow even closer to my side trying to find safety. Then the noise that had startled them both registered in my ears. It was a piercing awful screech that was changing in pitch and sounded mechanical yet at the same time painful.
If this was a remake of the ‘The Night Before Christmas’ I would have had to jump from bed and land in my house slippers and quickly throw back the drapes to see what was going on outside.
But it is only December 3rd today, and this isn’t a remake of that famous story of visitation of a jolly ole elf.
It was nothing more than the last breath of a small fan kept near the bed side. This little fan, through night after night of running to circulate air, was screaming out in anguish as its bearings had seized up.
The facts of the situation became apparent to me as the fog in my sleep cluttered mind cleared. It wasn’t long before I was bad to sleep, resting comfortably. The quest for rejuvenation continued till the actual alarm clock spouted off at 5:20 AM.
Once I got up and made my coffee, I headed down to my office in the basement. As I normally do. This time of the morning I often find myself seeking what God might want me to share in the blog for the day.
I suppose with Christmas approaching and the quite of the morning all around me, in the back of my mind. I’m hearing ‘Silent Night, Holy Night, all is calm, all is bright!’.
This mental singing to myself continued through my routine and I realized after a few minutes that I had modified one of the words to the familiar song. The word ‘bright’ was now replaced with the word ‘right’.
All is Right
Personally, for me, now isn’t what you might consider optimum circumstances by the world’s standards. I’m beginning my 4th month of being unemployed. We’ve cut expenses to the bone and used up the resources that we had in reserve some time ago. There are no plans of purchasing Christmas gifts, and the typical day is filled with the pursuit of the next place that God would see me serving him.
We have benefited from the generosity of others, but yet what has been in demand has been trust in the Lord’s provision, because ends are not meeting. They aren’t even close at this point.
Amid all this turmoil there is hope because of the trust that is vested in not only God’s ‘will’, but actually his ‘eagerness to take care of his own. “all is calm, all is right!”
Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:14-17 (CSB)
Panic isn’t in the cards. Regardless of the circumstances, that isn’t a product of God’s will for our lives. You see where his priority is, love and that perfect bond of unity, that comes from placing our trust in him.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (CSB)
This rest Jesus gives us is independent of our prosperity. In the worst of situations, we can and should have peace in heart because he is the Good Shepherd and is watching over us. The intermingling of peace through adversity it is something that can only be described as ‘God sent’, because it rejects the understanding of the world, and focuses trust and reliance on him for our strength and our sustenance.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.”
John 14:27 (CSB)
He doesn’t give to us as the world does, there isn’t any room for doubt or fear. He doesn’t wish for us to be troubled by our circumstance, as this detracts from the important things he has called us to; repentance, faithfulness, obedience, love, hope and grace.
He calls us to follow him regardless of the state of the sea around us. Though our ship be tossed about, and the waves threaten.
He stilled the storm to a whisper, and the waves of the sea were hushed. They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet. Then he guided them to the harbor they longed for.
Psalms 107:29-30 (CSB)
It is at this point that God’s strength and power is at its best. When there is nothing in our power to change the outcome, and we only have faith and trust that can maintain us in the storms.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.”
Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (CSB)
As we start another week, it serves us well to consider where we have placed our trust and hope. Because it determines who we are vesting our faith in.
If we find that that vestment of faith is lodged in our own ability and strength then there will not be a ‘silent night’ of hope and trust, as the storms of life approach and threaten.
However, if our faith is vested in God and we trust him for his love and provision of our needs, then we can go through the nights, through the days, through the weeks and be at rest because he can and will silent the night and abide over us, the flock of his pasture.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23 (NLT)
It isn’t our circumstances that determine our hope, joy and peace. These all come from our faith in Christ Jesus. It is in these provisions we can find our ‘Silent Night’ literally every day and every night.