Peace or Turmoil
As I sat in their room my spirit was overcome by the thought of how someone’s presence could make such a difference.
As I laid the little kids down after our nightly routine, Libby patted the small pillow beside her and whimpered, “me mom, me”, which means lay with me. As I sat in their room Braylon tossed and turned appearing to be restless as he tried to drift off to sleep. I lightly placed my hand on his back to reassure him I was in the room. My hand was almost an instant peace, and shortly he was sleeping soundly, with all his stuffed animals snuggled around him. Libby drifted to sleep as well, shortly after her brother. As I sat in their room my spirit was overcome by the thought of how someone’s presence could make such a difference. Just me being in the room gave them peace to close their eyes, let all their thoughts go, and fall into a much-needed sleep. But hear this, it makes a difference who’s presence you seek. I am not just anyone to these kiddos. I have been their caretaker, provider, source of encouragement and love; they know me. They not only know the works I do for them, but they know my heart because they intimately know me. People will look for things to comfort them, but in reality they are looking in all the wrong places. Then they are soundly convinced that life offers no real peace, which is very heart breaking because Christ died so that we might have a peace that passes all understanding.
I think about the story of Moses and the Israelites. Who were Moses and the Israelites seeking? Why was it that Moses had such peace about where they were going, yet the people had a completely different mentality toward the journey? Moses spent time with God, while the people planned how they might kill him for leading them into the desert. The difference is very simple. The people knew of God’s works, while Moses knew the creator of the works. Moses knew God intimately and His character, which meant he recognized God kept His promises. When faced with a difficult situation, Moses took all he knew to be true about God into consideration before making rash decisions. When he saw the Red Sea, he remembered the ten plagues God carefully orchestrated to change Pharaoh’s mind. When he was faced with lack of food for the people, he remembered the Red Sea parting. Psalm 103:7 “he made known His ways unto Moses, and His acts unto the children of Israel.” The Israelites, however, looked only at the situation in front of them, with little or no vision of God. When the Red Sea came they only saw themselves surrounded on all sides. When they were seeking food they groaned they would surely die. Their vision was so twisted, they lamented about returning to captivity, which clearly was not the better option. Because the people did not know God intimately and had only seen His works, when God was silent they had no belief.
Adrian Rodgers states, “ The difference between rest and turmoil is the difference between observing and obedience”
WOW! Let that statement sit with you for a while.
Have you ever observed something perhaps a game, profession, or do it yourself project. In your mind you thought anyone with half a brain could do that, until you were invited to participate. Oh yes, then it becomes very real because you are now having to walk out what you were once only observing. For example, hitting a golf ball. I mean how hard could that really be, right? Let me give you an example. Being athletically inclined, I stepped up to the golf ball, lined my club up, and swung with a vengeance. I was looking intently to see where the ball would land. I whispered, “I don’t see it.” Chad, breaking all the edict rules of golf, with uncontrollable laughter, declared, “that because it’s still on the tee!”
You observe God’s goodness all around you. You see people step out in faith answering His call, and you applaud as you observe. Then somewhere God ask you to step out and follow Him. Then you are no longer observing, but being challenged to act in obedience. I can tell you from experience there is a HUGE difference between sitting on the sidelines applauding others, and being in the grind of the work yourself. When you step into that obedience role, you quickly learn to trust God in a more intimate way, because undeniably you know you can’t survive without Him. You can spend a lifetime going to church and hearing about God, but until you seek him for Who He is, and not what He can do, you will always miss the point. Don’t you want to know what it feels like to live the verse in Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. I sure do! It will likely come with a high price and a difficult road, but an intimate relationship with God, which will be our greatest prize!
If we call on the name of the Lord, His presence alone will give us all we need.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 5 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”