My wife and I visited the Chateau Montebello today for lunch with our daughter and her family.

The Chateau is a huge log hotel on the banks of the Ottawa River, far from any major city.  There are extensive wooded grounds – good for hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

It was a perfect day.  Mild temperatures and a bit of a breeze under a sunny sky.  A few yachts were moored in a yacht basin adjoining the hotel.  Spring green dressed the trees.

The quiet, the gently rolling water, the laughing grandchildren throwing stones into the river – all this was a gift of God for me.  He was giving me joy and peace.

It made me think about peace – the peace of God.

Jesus told the disciples in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” 

Peace is something I can find in Jesus.  It is something he will give me if I will take it.

What is this peace like?

I think it is more than just lack of turmoil.  It is something you can have in the midst of turmoil.

David often talks about finding refuge in God and sheltering under the shadow of his wings.  In this, I picture in my mind storms and attacks on David and he runs to God for his protection and security.  It is a bit like a ship being buffeted in the ocean and finding a narrow opening into a lagoon where all is calm.  The storm is still raging outside, but inside there is peace.

How do I gain this peace?

Part of it is giving up my right to solve all my problems on my own.  As Peter says in the well-known words of 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

To do this, though, I must really be willing to give up control of these problems.

I think it also means taking the long look at my problems.  Will they destroy the eternal relationship I have with God?  The apostle Paul tells me that nothing can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8: 38-39).

So, how important are these failures and frustrations, these irritations?  Not very.  I remain secure in the love of God.

I can find the peace of God because the Spirit of God is within me, keeping me and sustaining me.  I just need to step aside and let him do his work.


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