Sunday, November 20, 2016

Peace, Be Still

Dear friends,

I have to admit that my mind has been a whir lately, so this is going to be more of a reflective post. Watching the political struggles in my homeland has been disheartening and disconcerting. To-do lists seem endless. Balance is an elusive thing. But there have been some wonderful moments too, like getting together with my small group girls. My piano class is making some exciting progress on their ensemble pieces. They are improvising left and right, and grasping the style of their solos. Last night I was privileged to perform with my colleagues in the Performing Arts Department in our annual Faculty Recital. Today I was a guest at a baby's 1st birthday party. I'm grateful for these things.

And there have been some unplanned moments of quiet that have restored part of my spirit. Please allow me to share a moment from the other day with you: 

Something about it felt different. After I finished teaching during 1st period, sunlight was beginning to seep through my classroom window. It was a welcome sight after so many days of rain and clouds. 
“I have so much to do, there are piles of papers and music on my desk to deal with…and yet…I need more coffee.” 
So I made myself another cup of coffee and headed outside. The clouds were in process of revealing a beautiful blue sky beyond them, and chilly golden sunlight lit up the golden shades of autumn as only it can do. So I went and stood by the creek for a while, breathing in the fresh crisp air, filling my ears with the sound of gentle waters, my eyes with gold and orange, and my heart with gratitude and the power to continue. I lift up my eyes to the hills, knowing that my help, my will to live, my every breath, comes from the Lord, Maker of Heaven and earth, Lover of my soul. Although I would have loved to capture the beauty of the day in a picture, my heart needed that brief bit of quiet time more than my camera lens did. Do I struggle to spend time with Him? How often do I choose to deprive myself of necessary margin? And yet His mercies toward me are new every morning, and His faithfulness endures. How thankful I am for the gift of quiet that He gave when I didn't even realize I needed it. My very own "Peace, be still" moment. 

No matter what happens in the course of a day, may our hearts be at rest, knowing all things fall under the dominion of our Almighty King. May take our burdens, from the largest to the smallest, to Him, leaving them there. For some reason, I often feel that there must be some burdens that I actually can handle on my own, but the reality is that He asks for all of them. How willingly do we place them in the hands of a loving, all-powerful God?

And He awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" 

May we be aware and looking for God's work in our lives and the lives of those around us. And may we trust Him even when it is difficult to see. Peace, be still.