And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4:7
My oldest son Isaac and I went camping high in the Colorado Rockies once. It got stormy and the lightning scared us.
Well, um, I mean it scared me.
We were at a campground high on a smaller mountain at about 9500 feet. We had arrived at noon, and just as we were about to set up camp, we could see a small but dark storm cloud on the horizon. So we busted tail and set up, got in and zipped tight the door as the wind and rain started going crazy. Then came the lightning. And thunder. And did I mention lightning?
And when you're at 9500 feet, the storm isn't far above you. You're hearing thunder like you've never heard it. It is loud. There were dozens of peaks and trees (even a few cell towers) far higher than we were, so we were pretty safe... but I certainly didn't feel safe. Frankly, after explosion number three, I'm ready to go home. But I'm here and I'm Dad - big strong, very experienced out here. I'll just be brave for my son, who must be scared to death... so I look over at him.
My 8 year old is is chill-axing. (for the confused among us, that means "chilling" and "relaxing" at the same time. It's an extreme form of rest... wrapped in cool. I've tried to do this, and injured myself.)
Isaac is sitting upright, playing with his Spiderman action figure with this cacophony all around, as if nothing's going on..
Surely, he's lost his hearing. Otherwise he'd be as scared as me.
I'm actually considering whether we should be laying flat on the floor of the tent as if at this altitude, that will make a difference. Hey Isaac, let's play Primordial Ooze, the game where we lay flat for an hour and pretend we're amoebas.
I said, "Dude, aren't you freaked by the storm?"
And without even looking up, my son says,
"No, I'm with you."
If only I could apply the faith my son has in his Dad, to the faith I have in my Heavenly Father. If only I could have this much trust in the God of the universe when I'm in the middle of the storm. If only I could know that peace is not defined by a lack of conflict or fewer problems per se, but by a trusting knowledge of not only God's presence with me, but also a trust in His plan of redemption even through the hardest of times.
Someone once said, "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."
When we are filled with abandon to and trust in God - that's how we will see the storm around us. You cannot grab, exert, or create peace yourself. God's peace is the kind that passes understanding... and protects our hearts and minds while the thunder crashes and the lightning seems so close.
A friend of a friend wrote a great song once, and the chorus said, "May peace rain down from Heaven like little pieces of the sky... little keepers of the promise, falling on these souls that drought has dried..."
May this be the rain that comes in the storms of your life, and of mine.