In search of...peace
We just returned from a mini vacation to Traverse City, a town on the northwestern side of our state. We were guests at my sister's house, which is set apart in a peaceful subdivision where deer roam the backlot and little yellow and red finches feed off their deck. Summer is a beautiful time to visit this city, which happened to be hosting the annual film festival that week. (We didn't attend any films--too many beaches to visit.) The lakes around Traverse City are the purest blue-green waters I've ever seen, far different than my beloved Pacific Ocean. The sand dunes dot various shorelines, bluffs, lighthouses, beaches, and more make this area a perfect getaway for the hurried and frazzled lives we live down state (southeastern lower MI where we live).
We went for a number of reasons but one was to get away, to relax, to seek peace in a fresh location. Not that I lacked peace at home, but there is something about the water and nature that gives me that feeling of renewal. Out on my sister's kayak, Randy and I floated on the lake and just let the breeze move us for part of the time. It would have been so easy to stay there indefinitely, to gently bob with the waves. Like floating in the Dead Sea. So relaxing. So restful.
I think I feel closer to God's heart near the water, strange as that probably sounds. It's as though each wave lapping the shore, each touch of the liquid on skin is a reminder of God's gentleness and His power all wrapped into one. We are at His mercy out on the water where storms can rise up and devour or Jesus can speak "Peace. Be still," and make the waves stop.
But this week He added to my gratitude journal and whispered peace to my heart in each thing we did. In church where my brother-in-law is a pastor, God spoke peace. "I've got this," He seemed to speak to my heart. Whispered words to things that trouble me. And I know He does - He has all of it in His very capable hands.
I can't be a bird and soar high in the skies carried on the wind. And I can't spend my days in the kayak or floating on the waters indefinitely. And it doesn't really matter whether I live in a place like Traverse or my own home town or whether I move to a different state entirely, should God so lead. Peace isn't found in a place. Places can add to our peace, as can people who care about us and share their love. But peace is truly only found in One Person--Jesus.
"Peace I leave with you," He said. "My peace I give unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe..."
And that's what I think I enjoyed best about our little trip this week. The whisper of God was in every place. Trust Me. I've got this. Believe.
And when I do, peace follows.