The screams always seem to arise the moment I reach for my coat.
Those piercing, startling cries that render you stopless in your tracks as you turn to tend to the cry. Redness on the forehead is noted and ice is applied.
Pictures flash through my mind of actually getting to church on time, finding a place to park, then finding a place to sit, and then hopefully being able to sing one worship song before the sermon begins. Those pictures fade replaced by motherly condolences.
Illness has struck our home as winter brings its viruses inwards rendering children with high fevers, stuffy noses, and somewhat crabby attitudes. My attitude at that moment could be just as crabby as theirs with or without the fever.
It was my time alone yesterday morning. My time to arrive early, sip my coffee, take notes, and bask in song and devotion yet all that wandered my mind was a screaming child, a dirty house, children still in their pajamas, and breakfast dishes that will need cleaning once I came back.
Peace. "Shalom," His word.
Where was my peace? It was on a row boat drifting away on oceans waves towards it destination of sand, solitude, palm trees, and tiny bungalows fit perfectly for just one. The only problem was the boat was empty and I would never be on one. It was missing that tranquility, quietness.
Peace. Misread, misinterpreted this peace. Peace "not as the world" gives with its perfect bungalows or spas or films that swallow time, or those special my times away. That Peace is short lived, temporary never amounting in completion or wholeness of soul, spirit, and mind for I would always have to go back to the mundane, back to the daily habits, face the challenges that tear away at me.
Turmoil, hardships will find me but through Him there is Peace everlasting. Those moments of testing, hardships, of sufferings are fleeting in His presence. How I handle the situation is where rest and peace is found.
Giving those moments of testing Peace is seeing through His lens of rest and joy in trials, true Peace. My outward response in those times of hardships dictates what's in my spirit.
This Peace that Christ gives us in the Spirit is Peace amidst the chaos, the disorder, the flailings, not FROM them but IN them. A Spirit Fruit, Peace.
Escaping, hiding from those possible occurrences are only temporary fixes. To face the challenges no matter how big or little they may appear, for everyones are different, facing them with His peace is where stillness is found.
I arrived to worship. But I remembered I had forgotten those clothes for the children sitting on the kitchen counter at home. My tired mind had remembered that morning but then the cries came.
Arriving back home to small whines and lunches that needed to be made, the thought crossed my mind to just stay, return them but those children...I journeyed back bag in tow, peace.