Thirty three years ago this coming January my industrious Aunt Bonnie lovingly handmade a small warm quilt for our infant son, Joel, who now towers over me – a bittersweet thing concerning one’s baby. Only God knows how many quilts she made in the meantime with her ever-busy hands.
Quilts interestingly make me think of my own patchwork life – forty years of marriage, another birthday just around the corner! God, the Grandest of all Quilters, has carefully pieced it all together, colorful experience after colorful experience.
Since taking the step long ago to follow Him as Lord, as Savior, as Trusted Lover of my soul, the word PEACE has been one of the threads He has used to connect HIS artwork, the patches of my life that He has carefully laid out throughout my days – some light, some dark, some bumpy, some smooth, some symmetrical, some not!
Because of Jesus’ dying in my deserved place, because of His victorious raising from death and then reigning over the dark hold of sin in the world, I can accept TOTAL PEACE WITH GOD through the Son. My sins, confessed in repentance to Him, no longer keep me separated from THAT PERFECT SALVATION PEACE. For didn’t He tenderly, sacrificially, painstakingly pay for it all?
Yet the day-in and day-out of the God-allowed, God-arranged patchwork of my life requires personal response. Although I am assured of PEACE WITH GOD ETERNALLY, I’m given the freedom to accept or NOT accept INNER, DAILY PEACE.
We recently got a call from a dear friend many states away. He was praising God because he’d seen the beginning of a miracle being worked out in his broken marriage. As we cheered over the phone with him about God’s work, there was peace.
Sitting with sisters in Christ at a long conference table very early every Wednesday morning – laughing about life, swapping lessons learned, sharing sorrows, even crying about our disappointments, stopping to pray- there is peace.
Escaping to a piney cabin secluded in the woods a few years ago, just for a night, we found no TV cable, no internet connection, no honking horns, no flashing lights. There was a roaring fire as we quietly talked over the scary unknowns of the future, admitting our utter dependence on the Rock of Ages. There was peace.
I’ve pondered peace much. I’ve watched those who have it. I’ve watched those who don’t. Conversations with three elderly women, all experiencing physical pain, demonstrated for me some major differences. One runs from God, yearning for daily peace. The other two trust God and look ahead with confidence. They have peace.
Joel’s daughter, Sutton (my baby’s baby!), gives a little window into some of the ways we can daily choose and enjoy peace.
A full tummy can stop her fussing and fidgeting and wiggling. Other times being wrapped tightly and snuggly in a soft blanket or quilt works to successfully still her waving arms and legs. She relaxes in her mommy or daddy’s secure arms and there is peace for her, her parents, and even ME, the GRAM when I was blessed to be around!!!
So what are Sutton’s godly Bible-based life lessons for me? For you?
- Peace comes as we choose to be filled with the right stuff.
- Peace comes when we rest – knowing, trusting, NOT worrying if there will be another meal or if we’ll be dropped on our heads accidentally.
- Peace comes when we cease from squirming in the arms that hold us, arms that move us wisely from place to place.
- Peace comes when we KNOW we aren’t in charge.
- Peace comes as we ponder a world only as big as our eyes are developed to see – not too far really – since what’s beyond is only blurry to our infant eyes!
- Peace comes, when trusting the track record of our life (four weeks, four months or four decades), we expect security and “feel swaddled!”
Jesus proclaimed it clearly, didn’t He? In this world you will have heartache. What you can see before you may look blurry. You may feel all alone. Your stomach may even growl.
Go ahead and cry out, with total honesty. Shed your buckets of tears. Wail with feeling to the one who promises peace.
Then become a little child and let Him fill that need, in His perfect timing, with perfect Fatherly love and wisdom. Let Him wrap you tightly in a quilt He’s carefully planned out just for you. Come to Him…and He will give you rest!
The pain-filled life of Corrie ten Boom, now also with the Lord, taught us much by honest cries and ultimate peace in the storm. She aptly titled one of her books, “Don’t wrestle, just nestle!”
Oh, Father, may we accept your peace exactly as her title suggests. We need You!
Sue Addington lives with her husband, Tom, in Fayetteville. She confesses that she has always had much to share, which is evidenced by her early report cards. God has used that passion for sharing in her as a public school teacher, and especially teaching the Bible to women. These days, she does most of her “sharing” through mentoring.