I’m sitting by a mountain stream in a rocking chair, feet propped up and enjoying the warmth of the setting sun. I keep inching my chair closer and closer to the water. The sound of water washes over my soul like a cold washcloth on a feverish forehead. My soul longs for peace and quiet and solitude and no people to be found for miles and miles to see.
Have you ever wanted to be a hermit? Care to join me? Wait, that would defeat the purpose of being a hermit. Defined, a hermit is a person who has withdrawn to a solitary place for a life of seclusion. There are times when I really want to be a hermit. My goal in life is to have a rustic cabin tucked away in the mountains, with no one for miles around. Well, maybe Brian. He can I can be co-hermits together. We’d make a great team.
But really, when you get down to it, my motive for wanting to become a hermit is that I don’t want to be hurt by people any more. My whimpering soul has had about all that it can take for a long long time. Have you ever felt that way?
Have you heard all the painful words you can stand from your abusive husband?
Has your mother-in-law been mean to you over and over again?
Do you see the things that your friends do together on Facebook and you are never invited?
Have you been hurt so many times that you’ve just quit trying to make friends?
Is life so overwhelming that you just want to escape and never have to face your problems again?
As I inch closer and closer to this mountain stream, I realize that the peace that I find here is temporary. As soon as I get up and walk away from the swirling water, that peace begins to fade. By the time that I walk back into the farmhouse and see the magazines I need to read and the emails I need to reply to and the posts I need to make on Facebook, that peace is long gone.
Sister, lasting peace can’t be found in a mountain stream or in essential oils or in flickering candles. Lasting peace can’t even be found by being a hermit in a rustic cabin.
True peace can only be found in Jesus.
If I will inch closer and closer to Jesus in prayer and worship, I will find true peace. Jesus tells us to come to the water, all who are thirsty, come and drink (Isaiah 55). In the Beatitudes, He says that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled. He tells the woman at the well that He will give her living water that will forever satisfy her.
Jesus alone can satisfy my hunger for peace. He tells us “Peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give it to you.” He calls for the weak and heavy laden to come to him for rest. He promises healing for the broken and comfort for the wounded.
So I’m turning my quest for peace at the bank of the mountain stream to a quest for peace at the feet of Jesus. His peace satisfies. His peace fills. His peace is sustained when I go back to the hustle and bustle of daily life. His peace is in me, no matter what I face or where I go. His peace is in me, even if I’m not a hermit.
Thank you, Jesus, for the peace that passes all understanding.