I love it when I wake up early, before anyone else in the house. This is a common thing, as I am, in general, a VERY early riser. I am almost always awake between 5 and 5:30am.
That quiet of the early morning hours is a wonderful time for me. I'll often take a quick shower, then go sit on my special recliner with "Streams in the Desert" and my Bible beside me, along with my obligatory glass of milk. There, God and I will meet together, alone, for a time of sweet fellowship, peace, and study of His Word.
I did not have one of those mornings today.
Oh, I woke up first, but my four-year-old daughter made her appearance right as I was getting out of the shower. My seven-year-old son soon followed.
It was probably a pipe dream, but I thought I'd try to have my devotions regardless. Sometimes the kids will go off and play elsewhere (perhaps on the computer, perhaps in their rooms) if I'm too dull. I eased into my recliner (after moving my son's blankie) and placed my milk and reading material on the table beside it (shifting my daughter's books to the side).
This morning, however, I was entirely too interesting to be left alone. For the next 20 minutes, I sat with my children on either side of me as they"read" and chatted about the new "Dora the Explorer" books we'd picked up at Sam's Club yesterday.
There went my quiet, peaceful quiet time.
But hold on. Is this what the Lord is talking about when he promises us peace? Do we need complete silence to learn from, spend time with, grow in Him?
As a stay-at-home-mother of two and a wife to a husband on disability, I certainly hope not. My quiet moments are few and far between, and if I had to wait for them to spend time with the Lord, I'm not sure I'd "visit" Him at all.
No, the peace God promises His children is not a peace from struggles and noise and busyness, but a peace in the midst of them.
A couple of years ago, I received an incredible insight about God's peace in a Beth Moore Bible study with my church group. I'm sure each of you remembers a verse in the Old Testament, or at least a hymn, about what kind of peace God promises to give us. This reference is actually found in Isaiah.
For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river..." Isaiah 66:12a NIV
What I learned was not that our peace is to be like a river (I knew that already), but what that peace looks like.
Think about a river. It is not stagnant and still. If it were, it would be a pond or a lake. It is moving: moving past rocks and branches, stirring up the waters, eroding the edges and carving its own path through. As I wrote almost two years ago in an old challenge entry,
"He doesn't promise us peace like a pond--now THAT is calm. A smooth sail; an easy life. That's what you were expecting. He promises us peace like a river: peace and security as you go over the twists, turns, and boulders of life. Jesus promised us trouble in this life - but he also said we could have His peace through it."
So, perhaps I need to learn to have that peace with God while my kids are chattering on either side of me, while my busy life goes on, while the world seemingly spins out of control around me.
Or...maybe I need to get up even earlier. ;)
(c) Joanne Sher 2011
Joanne Sher is a Christian writer saved out of Judaism, traveling rough roads with God's strength. She loves to blog, encourage, write, and spend time with her family. Learn more about her at http://www.joannesher.com.
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