It’s amazing how quiet and peaceful it is at 6:00 am.
It would be a busy day, as this was the day of my son’s graduation from university. As usual, I had over-planned everything, beginning with a “graduation brunch”, then a drive to Waterloo for the ceremony and reception, and then back home for a “graduation celebration supper” that would be complete with a gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free (and hopefully, tasty!) graduation cake, all homemade due to my significant diet restrictions. The timing of everything would be critical, and as I took the dog for her walk on the back country roads around our home, I couldn’t help reviewing everything in my mind.
As busy as my thoughts were, it took me until I was nearly home before I actually heard the familiar Bible text that God’s Spirit was working hard to impress upon my mind: “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (Ps. 46:10 NLT).
I quieted my unsettled mind for a moment, and that’s when I realized how still and peaceful it can be at 6:00 am. I began to see the winter wheat waving in the field across the road; I took in the beautiful flowers, the birds and the trees; and as I did, yet another Bible verse was impressed upon my spirit: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.” (Ps. 19:1-4 NLT)
As I contemplated this, I began to remember how tumultuous things are in the world right now. Terrorists shootings and bombings, plane crashes, threat of war on every front, upcoming elections with scary potential outcomes, troops being deployed “just in case”, global warming, etc.; and naturally, there was also the tumult in my own day. Nonetheless, the birds were singing, the wheat was waving peacefully in the breeze, the flowers were blooming, the sun was shining…
I knew what God was trying to tell me: even amidst turmoil, He is my rest, my peace, my joy, my love, my everything. As I came indoors and sat down to read my Bible, God directed me to Nehemiah 8, and the following text jumped out at me: “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Neh. 8:10 NLT)
I understood. It was a day of celebration for my son, and I was ruining it with my over-planning and worry. I needed to learn some serious lessons from the birds, the flowers and the wheat fields. I needed to learn that “the joy of the Lord” is very much my strength. I sat down then and began to type this devotional, something I was sure I wouldn’t have time for today…
Everyone reading this has “things” going on. For some it is simply plans. For others, it may be something major such as health problems, financial or relationship concerns, problems with transportation, child problems, etc. Whatever it is, let this be your takeaway today: “This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Neh 8:10 NLT)
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.