THIS WAY TO PEACE
(Trussville, AL USA)
Do You Have Perfect Peace ?
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns! (Isaiah 52:7)
I was taking a nice seasonal joyride through the mountains enjoying the fall colors of nature when I suddenly came upon the most unusual road sign which read "This Way To Peace."
"Well, I surely could use some peace," I thought. So I made the turn.
Immediately, a peaceful spirit seemed to take control of my life. So away I went, on a journey that appeared to be an eternity. And then it all happened.
At the end of the road stood a quaint little turn-of-the-century chapel. The structural makeup was a pure white-wash bearing a rather unique stained glass windowed steeple. However, the real surprise was yet to come.
The inside decor was very unique. The pews were split with a center aisle leading up to a big potbelly stove. On the one side the pews were labeled with a sign stating "Ladies" and on the other side a similar sign bearing the word "Gentlemen." Located at the front side was a large bench pew labeled "Deacons."
In addition, across the front of this little chapel was the most unique kneeling altar. It was padded with red velvet which had what appeared to be old stains of something.
Standing just inside the chapel stood an elderly gentleman who also was dressed to fit this turn-of-the-century occasion. He was wearing a long black-tailed coat, white shirt with a black string tie. Upon seeing me, he smiled graciously as he spoke. "Come on in, my child, are you seeking peace?"
"Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I am," I replied.
Then the gentleman, whom I took as the church pastor, motioned for me to follow him to the front of the church. Pointing to an old tattered Bible, the pastor asked me to read a certain passage of Scripture, which I did.
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)
"Do you understand what you just read?" the pastor asked.
"I'm not really sure", I responded.
That's when this "Old Time Religion" preacher started his powerful spiritual dissertation, which I will never forget as long as I live. Opening his Bible he read:
"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1)
Then pounding the pulpit, away he went. "You see, my child, God gives you a wonderful promise here. If you place your confidence in our all-powerful, all-knowing God in every circumstance by thanksgiving, He will surely give you that inner peace of which you are seeking for your heart and mind will be guarded by His wonderful love.
Regardless of today's tempest, no one, especially those outside of Christ, will ever be able to fathom this peace given you. This peace that comes from God is not of today's social culture. It is a personal calm known only between you and God.
For this world's peace depends solely on secular circumstances. If all's well, then we have peace, but when our world falls apart, so does this fabricated peace. However, God's peace is a matter of faith, in His free grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Do you understand God's peace now, my child?"
"Yes, I surely do," I exclaimed, as the tears started flowing.
"Then simply kneel here at God's altar in repentance and let your tears of belief stain this old altar, as many before you have done," he concluded. And that I did.
All of a sudden this "Old Time Religion" pastor started singing, shouting and praying, all in the same forceful manner. And guess what? I immediately jumped to my feet and joined him. Amen!
This pastor then concluded by placing his hand on my shoulder and giving me a final blessing.
" The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
What happened to me then, you may ask? Well, I hugged the nice pastor, waved goodbye and left the little old church. As I was driving away, I turned for a final look, but to my surprise, the church had disappeared, along with all its turn of the century scenery. And I found myself sitting up in my bed, my bed clothing soaked with sweat.
Was this a dream, a vision, or just a figment of my imagination? I'm not really sure, but one thing I do know, I was blind but now I see, I was lost but now I'm found. Such amazing Grace!
Author's Postscript (Taken from my previous blog)
PEACE BE STILL
Speak softly as the night fears rush, My spirit not to crush
Calm raging waters of my heart, Let rushing winds of sin depart
Never to go from You astray, As tightly in your arms, I pray
With the day break proudly shining, In Your Spirit now abiding
Looking to join Your upward call, Never more the earthly draw
So let the storms rage on, In Your good time I will be gone
Are you ready for life's storm? Yield to Him, your life conform
Peace, Be Still (Matthew 8:23-27)
The Holy Scriptures tell of Jesus’ calming the storm on the lake. From these few verses, we can rightly conclude a couple of truths, 1) that Jesus, as the Son of God, has authority over the elements of nature, and, 2) that the disciples may have had weak faith for being afraid.
This Bible fact is just one of many occasions in which Jesus proved Himself to be God. Jesus had divine authority in various other areas — sickness, demons, death, and sin. It provides another significant part to the portrayal of the King: He is not just a King over the people of Israel; rather, He is King over all nature and all mankind. And He is still the same today. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
Yes, His peace is everlasting. Yes, He will calm our troubled hearts. Yes. He will give us peace within.