Day 78: Peace is Not a Place

I was visiting my long time friend and Pastor, Larry York, yesterday and he was sharing with me about his vacation in Wyoming and Montana.  It was fun to listen to him talk about trout-filled streams and giant ranger-protected elk, and log cabins and mountain views.

I went to see him because he is my Pastor, and the last few weeks of my life have been somewhat tumultuous, (and he's a wise counselor). Over the course of our conversation, I shared with him that mornings are the hardest for me because in those first few moments of waking I feel the turmoil.  My mind is still consumed by unanswered questions, and in the still quiet moments of dawn they demand an answer.

He showed me a picture on his cell phone (which was a little amusing to me because Larry will be the first person to tell you he is not technologically savvy).

The picture was of a majestic, snow-capped mountain, set behind a gorgeous lake all on the backdrop of a beautiful purple sky.  He asked me what I felt when I looked at that picture, and I said, "Peace."

He smiled and said that most people said that.  He said, "Imagine if you could wake up to that every morning.  Would you feel at peace?"  And of course I said that I would.  When he asked, "Why?"  I said it was because I could feel the presence of God.

He said that the same God who made those mountains made the trees outside my window, and the desert, and the valley.  He said, "It's not the mountain that is peaceful, it's God."

His point to me, and a great one, was to trust God and not my circumstances.  The peace I seek is in God, not in my location, nor in the answers I want, nor in my circumstances.

All that to say, Jesus said in John 14:27 "I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid." 

Jesus (and Larry), those are good words.  Thank you for the reminder.

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