Work was raucous. We had been running all night trying to get the trailers cleaned out and on dock to be loaded. I was growing increasingly frustrated, allowing the heat of the moment to burn my patience. My responses on the radio were short and cold. My thoughts were beginning to run wild, edged on by my growing aggravation. I pulled out of the door with a trailer in tow for the yard, turned on the radio, and all of a sudden a peace crept over me. Just the right song came on, and with the big puffy snowflakes falling down, it was a powerfully calming sedative to my angst. I sighed deeply as God brought to mind my family, whom I was doing this work for, how everyone of them was in great health, growing, living, loving. All the frustration dissipated into relief and gratitude. After I spotted the trailer, I sat there in the cab watching the snow fall for a few moments of silent lucidity. I sighed again. How lovely, how pure, how moving, and right in the middle of one of my least shining moments.
It is amazing to me that a mere scene can have such an affect on such a torrid attitude. God's peace is truly amazing. His whisper is more powerful than a hurricane. And the most intriguing thing about it is that it visits me in my most vulnerable moments, reminding me of the reality of His Presence. He is not over there, somewhere, in some vague vaporous plane, pulling strings and making the world turn. He is here, right here, right now. He hears my angry words, and my sad words. He sees my rage, frustration, my attempts to control what I try so hard to, but cannot. He knows me, that underneath my rough, false self confidence that contorts my face and raises my voice, there is just a scared child lashing out at the unwelcome circumstance. He feels the pressures of life exerted on my soul. He is here, waiting on me, whispering to me, "Peace. Be still."
To my shame, I must admit I do not take advantage of that peace, that Presence all the time, not even most of the time. How is it, knowing the Father, the Speaker of the universe, exists in omnipotence, but cares about me in such a profound way, that I would rather keep to myself, striving to shoulder all the care, worry, and all the stuff that taxes my life and makes me an old man? How foolish. How stupid. Why do we do that?
As sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, we are prone to subscribe to our base nature. When unwelcome circumstances rise up against us, our first reaction is usually a sinful one. Then, feeling ashamed, we hide in the bushes. The Father comes in the cool of the day, or, in our post-modern environment, after everything has settled down, and He wants only to spend time with his children. The scripture says His eyes roam constantly throughout the whole earth looking to strengthen those who trust in Him. He came searching for Adam and Eve, knowing fully the sin they had done and exactly where they were. He comes after us, knowing the trouble we're encountering, and loving us even when we are the cause of that trouble! And He calls to us, in our hearts, sometimes in our thoughts, "Do you have some time for me?" We feel Him near, and becoming even more aware of our sin, we push away, deeper into the foliage of our busy lives, as if to try to believe that perhaps, He does not see us.
But those who walk more closely with Him know His power to forfeit anxiety. They are more sensitive to His voice than they are the trouble that attempts to derail them. The Word they have hidden in their hearts is always alive in them, like a forcefield repelling the negative energies, the temptations, the lies of the enemy. It is the essence of what Christ displayed before his disciple in the middle of a raging storm as He came looking for them, walking upon violent waves. Peace. It is the force that disintegrated the wind and spread the waves of the sea smooth like a quilt at His words, "Peace. Be still." It is the sound, the whisper of His still small voice that mutes the thunder and freezes the chaos, making everything, loved and loathed come into clarity.
I know how to access this awesome, chaos-shattering force. It is a simple thing. I have to stop looking at the storm, and focus my eyes, my time, and my energy upon Him. I have to step out of my frustration, my anger, my sadness, my bewilderment, and behold the Father here, right here, Who is in my situation all the time. I have to answer His gentle call, clear my schedule, and sit with Him a while. His Presence brings us what we need: repentance, forgiveness, encouragement, empowerment. I have to stop my angry words and remember His Word that is in me. Thanksgiving gives way to praise, then to worship. And suddenly, all that really matters is before me. It all becomes so very clear, my true purpose in existing: to bring Him glory, and to enjoy Him forever.