Peace To Get You Through Long Days

by Kevin Burton

   Your friendly neighborhood astronomer will tell you tomorrow will be the longest day of the year.  I beg to differ.

   Of course it’s true in the scientific sense. It’s the summer solstice, the day with the most sunlight in the northern hemisphere.

   But the days since mid-March have been plenty long as the heart measures them. 

   The days have been filled with contagion, sickness, anxiety and death; mistrust, racism, violence and willful ignorance.

   It’s a cloud hovering over this country. It’s like a weather report, a seven-day forecast we can’t seem to get away from.

   So Sunday will be a shorter day, Monday shorter still, on and on until Dec. 21 the winter solstice. 

   But in the heart sense how do we make these days, these times, not seem so long?

   Time flies when you’re having fun. Google thinks that idiom was first used around 1800. When was the last time you used this phrase?  What would it take to give wings to time and once again see it fly?

   Well I just don’t see anything promising in the news. But here’s something to consider from the Bible, by way of a devotional I am reading.

   Let me back up a step and tell you how I got to this point.

   One of the things the pastor at my church said months ago was “Don’t let life’s demands rob you of your peace.”  Great idea but after deeper thought, I had to admit I didn’t have any peace to speak of.

   Assurance in Christ, yes, but peace day in and day out?  Didn’t have it. The virus did that to a lot of people. We all have other issues besides.

   In God’s perfect timing I got “Knowing God’s Peace,” a devotional put together by Pastor Paul Tautges and distributed by Truth For Life Ministries in Cleveland.  I’ve been working through it. 

   One of the passages this week was Jeremiah 17:7-8. In the New American Standard Bible it reads, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water that extends its roots by a stream
and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green and it will not be anxious in a year of drought, nor cease to yield fruit.”

   Take some time to peel that one apart.

   First in verse 7, trust in God and in God only. Then in verse 8 see what that gets you.

   The stream in verse 8 is God’s life-giving, nourishing stream. Notice that the one who trusts God in verse 7 is “planted” by the water.  This is someone who abides in Christ.

   Maybe your record is a little better than mine.  I hope so.  I go to the stream often, but do I abide there?  Am I planted? I can’t quite claim that and I need to get there. We all do. Look what happens if you do abide in Christ.

   That person “will not fear when the heat comes.” His or her “leaves will be green.” A healthy tree is a green tree.

   The person “will not be anxious in a year of drought, nor cease to yield fruit.”

   Has 2020 been a “year of drought” or what?

   But this blessed person from Jeremiah chapter 17 is free from fear and anxiety and is healthy (green leaves, yielding fruit).

   If your sense of peace is based on God, not on circumstances, that can be you.

   The BBC is my main news source because they tell the truth. They report great news one hour and terrible news the next. But there is a greater truth reported in the Bible.

   God help me and you to be planted by that living water.

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