We’ve been experiencing frigid temperatures, as has much of western Canada this week. Cold is the topic of conversations everywhere, and winter blues abound.
Unless of course, you are one who loves winter, and doesn’t mind the cold, and there are some who embrace even the extremes of this season with gusto and delight.
No, this time of year, I wish I was a teddy bear, hibernation seems like an attractive sport, and I’m glad when I am at home with a steaming hot cup of tea and a good book.
But sometimes we are not made to sit around! I was wrestling with that last Friday as the snow was coming down faster than we could keep up with the shoveling. I was supposed to go to work (I work as a hospital chaplain), and thought . . . would it really matter if I stayed home? I stress about driving in the stuff, and have had some accidents in the past that make me exceedingly cautious.
So I shoveled and I prayed. And then I went to my journal, which I am enjoying creating and started to write out verses about peace.
Peace is the word I’ve chosen for this year, and it is a good word for me. One of the challenges I’ve given myself is to write down verses from the Bible and I”ll also look for quotes about peace to put into my journal to encourage me to ponder and explore this word more fully.
So Friday morning, I went to Bible Gateway (a great app), and continued down the list of verses that had the word Peace in them. And wouldn’t you know that the two verses I wrote down that morning were from Genesis, both used as an action. Gen. 26:31 says that Isaac sent them on their way and they went away peacefully. And the very next verse was also an action, where Joseph says to his brothers to go back to their father in peace. (Gen. 44:17)
I don’t know about you, but when I ask God to give me direction and the next thing I’m reading about going peacefully . . . I felt rather compelled to put on my coat and go . . . in peace. So I did, through the snow, and the miracle of it all was that I was calm in the midst of the snow, and I arrived at the hospital quite uneventfully.
The other miracle of that morning was that I was meant to show up. I truly believe that there are times we are to stay and pray, and other times we are to go . . . and there is work for us to do! Surely this was the case for me this morning as I encountered story after story and was able to enter in, to listen, to bring comfort, to pray. I was so thankful I had listened.
It was a good reminder for me. To take time to listen, to ask for direction, and then to trust, without fear, that God was in control.
I took time to doodle these thoughts with another interesting verse from Judges 18. Peace could be illusive in the tribal times of the Old Testament, and hearing from God was paramount. It makes for some interesting reading!
Each day is a new adventure. There are times I will be invited to stay and rest, other times I am called to go, and show up. Peace is part of that as I trust God to be with me wherever I go, and I can go joyfully in peace.
May peace abound richly for you today.