Peace? Yes, peace.

Just a very quick note today — because this is a thought that has already changed my day. It’s worth dashing off a reminder to you …

Are we foolish and naïve to even suggest one can have peace in this world?

Jesus said He gives us peace. It’s part of the inheritance we have as children of God. Now. Today. Yes, even in this world.

And He says it is a peace like nothing the world can give.

It’s only through and from Him.

Oswald Chambers says in today’s meditation in My Utmost for His Highest: “We become troubled because we have not been taking Him into account.”

What happens when you face the thing that is troubling you, wearing you down, frightening you, or creating chaos in your life — when you face it, taking our Lord into account?

Doesn’t everything change when we take Jesus into account?

My day just did.



Need Peace Today?

Here’s something to not only think about but also to act on today. Perhaps you’ll think it too simple, too plain, too uncomplicated. After all, deep thinkers have been grappling with this for thousands of years; theologians and pastors, therapists and psychiatrists, hippies and yuppies and world leaders, and almost every man and woman who has walked on this earth. All, in their own ways, looking for peace. 

Where will you find your peace today?

Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Two simple acts will change your day, no matter what your calendar or your problems look like. Tell God what you need. And thank Him for everything He has done for you.

Who better to go to for help than the all-powerful Father who loves you so much? Who has more resources? Who knows you better than you yourself?

Tell Him, who has promised to work for your good in everything, what you need.

And then remember. Remember all He has already done for you. I regret that we are losing the practice of passing down to succeeding generations the stories of our journeys. The oral tradition of storytelling preserved the history of a people. Long passages in Scripture recount God’s faithfulness to his chosen people. Yes, many people do that today by writing their stories or by speaking their stories; but most of us do not. We have no ritual (and I use that word in the best sense) way of passing along the accounts of God’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives.

At the very least, do this in your own heart and mind. Recount, remember, review all that God has done for you.

Tell Him what you need. Thank Him for His hand in your life.

So simple. I won’t try to explain what happens or how it happens, because Scripture tells us right here that it’s beyond our understanding. But I know that God honors this promise He has made. This asking and thanking brings peace. It is God’s peace — in a later verse, He is called the God of peace — and it will stand guard around our whirling minds and turbulent hearts as we go through today.

I need simple today. I can certainly remember two things: Tell. Thank.



Scripture: Philippians 4:6b-7 (NLT)

Lorna Doone in Old Sow (Little Boat in Perilous Whirlpool)

Last year on the Fourth of July, after the sun had set but while evening light still lingered, I stepped from the docks of Lubec onto a little boat that headed out into Johnson’s Bay. I was delighted and eager; our plan was to watch the fireworks displays from three towns and two countries while bobbing on the waters of the bay between Canada and the US.

What I did not know was that we were also going to sail through Old Sow. With still an hour or so of daylight, our captain took us on a little tour while we waited for the fireworks show. The salmon pens, a little whale-watching, a few dolphins playing, the Canadian Island of Campobello. Then through Old Sow, the largest whirlpool in the northern hemisphere, second largest in the world.

Deep water scares me. I’ve lived all my life in the Midwest, far from any deep water. I can swim…but only in a calm swimming pool. While the ocean fascinates and awes me, I’m wary and respectful of its power.

 Now here we were, in the little six-passenger Lorna Doone, puttering through Old Sow. Strong currents flowing from many directions around the islands, from Passamaquoddy Bay to the Atlantic and back again, create a tidal churning, a watery vortex that at times can capsize and swallow ships. To safely pass through the roiling waters, a captain has to correctly judge the tides and the winds. Our captain took us through. I was… ummm…nervous. And very glad to come through on the other side.

But the captain of our boat has spent his life on these waters. Even though the Lorna Doone was the smallest craft out that night, her captain knew the bay, he knew the tides, he knew his boat. His wife told me, “Don’t worry. He knows what he’s doing. He won’t take us through if he’s not absolutely certain we will make it.”

(I thought to myself, Yup, that’s probably what most of the people who disappeared here, along with their boats, also thought …)

Ever since, when I think about sailing through Old Sow, I think about the confidence that woman had in her captain. She sat back and relaxed, did not watch the waves anxiously, as I did; she had no concern that we were headed toward waters where we might disappear forever.

I want to have that faith! I have spent too much of my time worrying about rough waters ahead. I want to have a trust that knows, even when the whirlpool’s waters grab at my little boat, that my captain is in total control, he knows the waters, he knows exactly where I am, and his power holds me.

How often have we cried, “Lord, do you see what’s happening? Do you care? Help! I am not going to make it…”

The story, first told about Jesus’ disciples on the Sea of Galilee, repeats itself in every generation of disciples, repeats itself in every disciple’s life, repeats in my life. Again and again, I find myself in a storm that threatens to overwhelm my boat; again and again, I cry, I’m drowning, Lord!

And I hear the same answer, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

The storms are real. Our peril is real. The enemy would love to grab my boat in the swirling deep and swallow it, never to surface again. Without faith in my captain, I would have plenty of reasons to be terrified of the waters and storms ahead.

The old hymn, “Peace Be Still,” has been humming in my head, especially these two lines:

        “No water can swallow the ship where lies
         the Master of ocean and earth and skies;”

The story in Scriptures tells us that at Jesus’ words, “Be still!” there was suddenly a great calm. It’s referring to the wind and the waves, but I want this to be descriptive of me, too!

I want my little faith to grow to big faith. I am learning. He brings me through the Old Sows in my life, he calms me in the storms, I am in His hands. I want to look ahead and relax, trusting, having faith in Him no matter what waters I see boiling ahead.


Scripture: Mark 4:40

NEXT: Lifelines to grab when you’re drowning.

Quietness and Comfort

On some days, I need to sit a long time on my Rock of Refuge. Sit quietly, listen, read, come to my Father. If I simply run past it, run ahead with my schedule, my work, my obligations … then my day becomes thirsty and hungry.

This morning, I needed to sit a long time. I needed quietness and comfort.

If you are at such a place also, let these Scriptures water your soul:

Psalm 119:76
May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD your God is with you,
    he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
    he will quiet you with his love,
    he will rejoice over you with singing.

Psalm 23:2,3a
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
    he leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.

Isaiah 33:17
The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
    the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

This chapter goes on to say that
my people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
    in secure homes,
    in undisturbed places of rest.
Though hail flattens the forest
    and the city is leveled completely,
how blessed you will be,
    sowing your seed by every stream,
    and letting your oxen and donkeys range free.

Isaiah 30:15
In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength.


Take a closer look at the Zephaniah verse.

The LORD your God is with you,

That is enough. The LORD of the universe is with me.

God wants our friendship, our fellowship, our communion. And that is just amazing. He seeks us. He went to extreme measures to bring us back into a relationship with Him.

he is mighty to save.

And as He says so many other places in Scripture, He alone can save me. He alone can deliver me from the traps set for me, from the enemies of my soul. He can work for my good in everything. If He is for me, who can hold or harm me?

He will take great delight in you,

I am humbled. How is it that Almighty God takes delight in me?

Yet, He says it is true …

I am speechless.

he will quiet you with his love,

How can there be worry, fretting, noise, confusion, fear?

I am quieted.

He will rejoice over you with singing.

I have no idea what this means … other than …. God rejoices over me.

What? Makes me smile, though. To know that the LORD Almighty rejoices over me.

It looks like our Lord is all about comforting His people.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort …
2 Cor 1:3

I wait quietly before God,
   for my victory comes from him.
He is my refuge, a rock where no
   enemy can reach me.

O my people, trust in him at all times.
   Pour out your heart to him,
   for God is our refuge.
from Psalm 62