Jesus said, “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives …” (John 14:27).
Music, “Rocky Road” by Newworldson:
Living in society, today’s culture, weighing in on social status and shifting through different philosophical stuff can make our journey through life feel like we are traveling through air pockets in the sky, hiking the side of the rocky mountains, or sailing on a sea in great turmoil.
Consider this for a moment, you’re high above the earth in an airplane and experience turbulence. You feel the plane drop. Within those few seconds your mind races, wondering when, or even if, it will catch the air again.
Finally you feel it being supported once again by the air & winds you can not see. You sure can feel when it is there or not there but you look out your tiny window and you see nothing but clouds racing by. The aircraft plummets again and this time you hear someone cry out in panic,
“Put me back on the ground!”
You feel the urge to shout the same thing but can’t find the ability to speak.
You all know that those down there have a solid foundation on which to stand and you just wish it were possible to be back down there right now.
Although things are rough at this altitude, down below the storm is not as hard to tolerate. Sure, there may be wind & rain fall but you try to put your mind in a better place. You try to force your mind to what it would be like inside your home, it is almost perfectly quiet there. No sound but thunder, wind hitting the windows or rain coming down on the roof. No tumult. Not even a drop of turmoil.
Now, you’re back on the ground and hiking up a mountain. You’ve got all the right tools, special shoes, rope, & other safety equipment. You’re slowly reaching the elevation you’re striving for, but even on the most level surfaces the path has holes and stones just big enough to get under your feet & attempt to twist your feeble ankles.
No doubt, in those situations we will find it hard to find & keep our footing.
Then, it begins to rain and the wind picks up. All of a sudden the conditions become even more difficult. You started this adventure for fun but now circumstances are making it miserable.
You’re trying to keep standing but the ground under you is now wet & increasingly slippery. A gust of wind knocks you off your feet. You lay face down on the dirt and hold on, wondering how long this will continue, how far you’ve come, and how far you still have to go.
You recall how calm things were, down below this path. You miss sitting in your back yard, walking down a paved sidewalk or being under the shelter of your own home.
Although things are rough on this rock, dirt & current terrain you cling to, the fact that it was perfectly quiet at the foot of this mountain. You recall before starting this climb you heard no sounds or signs of a storm. There was no environmental threat. You heard only the light chirps of a few birds. The wind was gentle and the path was smooth.
As an experienced hiker you know at certain points while hiking you have to stop, rest, or even just wait right where you are currently or you’ll never make it up, let alone back down, from this venture.
Ok, now, you board a sea worthy vessel. When you are traveling by sea you acquire sea legs. Sea legs is the term given when you are trying to adjust to floating out on a massive body of water or when you are so use to being on a ship it makes it difficult to find your balance back on land.
While on this relaxing cruise a storm and rogue waves seem to come out of no where. The realization suddenly hits you like a ton of bricks, while on a ship you’re not in control at all. You trust that the Crew & Captain know what they are doing, but you know that even they can only do so much.
You’re on a ship, in an awful storm, hundreds of miles out from land. You hold on to anything close by while dealing with the motion of the ocean. Winds are soaring across the surface of the seas as fast as 100mph, stirring up waves & hitting the ship. You feel the waves rising the ship as high as 50 feet into the air, tossing this huge tin can up, down and side to side. You feel like you are a on small toy raft in a pool after someone has just done a cannonball.
No matter how experienced the Captain is, or how well trained his crew are, you, and everyone else on this boat are all at the mercy of the sea.
After an experience like that, when you reach land & get off the water, it often still feels like you’re still on that ship. You know “that ship had already sailed”; however, it takes a while for our mind & body to recover.
Looking back at the sea you see & remember the storm; but before, during & after an experiences like that we’ve got to remember that, although things are rough on the surface, deep down *underneath the surface just 100 feet down, there’s no storm. All is perfectly quiet. No sound. No tumult. Not even a ripple of turmoil.
No matter how we travel, where we fly, walk, sail or roll we will find it hard at times to endure.
In the same way, Jesus told His disciples, “You will have trouble in this world.” In fact, He claimed that some of them would be persecuted because they were His disciples. But in spite of this, He promised He’d never leave those who followed Him, and His constant presence would be the means whereby they could experience His peace. He is always right where we are, even in the storm. We can find and keep this peace of mind.
On the surface of things we are dealing with in life it may feel & seem extremely harsh and as if we won’t endure.
I read a quote recently,
“What can’t be altered must be endured and sometimes what can’t be endured must be altered.” -Neil Peart
I’m also reminded of part of the serenity prayer,
No matter how strong and hard the wind of the air blows up above us, regardless of how rough the road may be under our feet, or how high waves of the sea churn, it is up to us to let God’s peace reside deep down in our hearts.
As you travel through life may you always be able to find your spiritual footing and keep on traveling until that final day upon which you reach your destination.
Destined to win in Christ, beetle
*Inspired by: day 2 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Finding Peace’.
Check it out here:
Song, “Today” by Newworldson:
Remember who and what Christ is to you.