Things have felt a little upside-down here lately. Tensions are high, meltdowns are becoming a regular part of the day, and we have collectively become a rather grouchy bunch. Our children have developed a keen sense of selective hearing in addition to a very obstinate streak that seems to be growing each day. Simple requests somehow morph into all-out battles. Sometimes it takes all of our energy to deflect a looming mutiny. We try to stick to routines. I am always conscious of being generous with encouragement and consistent in correction. Yet I totally blow it most of the time. My patience wears thin and I find myself losing my temper more and more. I hate the voice I hear when I lash out at my children or my husband. I feel defeated.
I could tick off a variety of factors that could be contributing to this mess: lack of sleep, too much Halloween candy, change in schedules, business trips for Steve, late night/early morning studying for me….I could go on. These are all external factors, and while they can affect how we think and act, I worry that as a family we are pulled and pushed around too much by these things. We allow them to control us. I find myself hopping from one smoldering fire to another, trying to put them all out. I run ragged and exhausted. Why do I try to hack through life’s jungle on my own instead of trusting God to clear the path before me?
I am yearning for the peace that transcends all understanding. I have known this deep peace countless times in my life, but it seems to escape me in these moments when all hell seems to be breaking loose.
A piece by Arthur Tappan Pierson, an urban Presbyterian pastor in the late 1800’s, spoke deeply to me. He wrote:
There is a part of the sea known as “the cushion of the sea.” It lies beneath the surface that is agitated by storms and churned by the wind. It is so deep that it is a part of the sea that is never stirred. When the ocean floor in these deep places is dredged of the remains of plant or animal life, it reveals evidence of having remained completely undisturbed for hundreds if not thousands of years.
The peace of God is an eternal calm like the cushion of the sea. It lies so deeply within the human heart that no external difficulty or disturbance can reach it. And anyone who enters the presence of God becomes a partaker of that undisturbed and undisturbable calm.
(taken from Streams in the Desert, by L.B. Cowman)
This peace can only be attained through ages of silent stillness. And I think this kind of stillness can only come through complete surrender. Do I trust God enough to allow myself to sink into His love? No matter what storms are raging on the surface, can I surrender to Him and allow Him to carry me down into that beautiful, deep place? I know He has so many mysterious treasures there.
This is the peace that I want to reign in my heart. This is what I want to live and breathe. Father, I surrender.