By 4:45am we were piled in the car with travel cups of coffee and a huge stack of CDs I’d found from my teen days of burning music, literally in a basement, from Napster.
We drove a few hours to a massive book sale, where I paid $10 to enter early and my guys sat in the car for an hour til they were allowed in for free. When we were ready to check out all three of them were essential members for carrying my stacks of books. I carried a water bottle.
After lugging all the books out to the car we made our way over to a beautiful area that’s become a family favorite. The boys got their feet wet and we all enjoyed the scenery. It was peaceful because everything felt peaceful.
But not too much later a very cautious boy had a misstep and slipped, falling and hitting his head hard on rock. A complete accident, but it resulted in a large gash on the chin, moments of daze, chipped teeth, a bad headache and a lack of recall over the incident.
Despite all of that, he showed no other danger signs and was actually quite cheerful. So cheerful in fact, that enroute to the ER we cautioned, “Hey buddy, while we love how happy you are, you might not want to be quite so happy when we walk in to the ER. They aren’t going to believe that this actually happened.” He countered back; “Well, I’ve found the Proverb to be true – ‘a happy heart is good medicine’ – and that if I am happy even when I am in pain my pain isn’t so bad.”
A happy heart. We had just been sensing the peacefulness of our circumstances because everything felt peaceful.
But there is a peace to be found in the midst of pain and suffering, too. David talks about this in Psalm 3. In verse 1 he says – “How many are my foes! Many are rising up against me!” His circumstances certainly were not peaceful. But check out verse 5 – “I lay down and slept; I awoke again, for the Lord sustained me.”
I don’t know about you, but stress and anxiety have kept me from sleeping many a night. But despite David’s circumstance where his very own flesh and blood wanted to kill him, David was able to lay down and sleep because God is faithful and David knew this.
He had peace in the midst of his very un-peaceful circumstances.
This we know – circumstances change. From sitting on an embankment with the sound of streaming waters and joyful shouts of children to hours later waiting in an Emergency room with people stretched out on the cold, hard floor screaming in pain. Circumstances ebb and flow. Some good. Some seemingly unbearable.
But this we also know – The Lord is good. His steadfast love endures forever. He is faithful to all generations.