“What are we going to do today, Mom?”
It was afternoon on a light summer day. I was busy — swinging in a hammock, leg dangling over the side of the knotted rope to dance my foot over field grasses. Our son was next to me, obviously having more difficulty with the slow pace of the day than I was. He kicked his feet, stirring my slumber.
“What do you mean what are we going to do? This. Nothing. That’s it. We’re lying in a hammock.”
To me, it was bliss. It was lovely to spend the afternoon removed, swinging in the sun at my in-laws’ home in the country. But for our young son, it was simply a few moments worth of a stepping stone to his next activity. I wished I could have explained to him what those few minutes of peace really meant. There was no phone in our hands. No email. No social media or work or responsibilities. All we had to do was feel the summer breeze blow over and let the sun warm our skin.
There was all the potential in the world to use that time for something else. And believe me — there are a lot of “something elses” that need to be seen to, like email, looming work projects, laundry, ironing, baseboards that needed scrubbing 10 years ago… But for the life of me, I just couldn’t see them in that moment. All I knew was that I was at peace. In the moment, nothing was expected of me. I was content to… just. breathe.
“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.” —Isaiah 23:6 NKJV
At the time, there was no peace for our family.
We had some troubles. (Who doesn’t?) We knew we faced what could amount to a hard road ahead. Words like cancer and death, discontent, fear and failure had become a part of our daily vocabulary. So it wasn’t intuitive for me to feel peace at all, regardless of where I was spending my afternoon. But there was something in the quiet and the rest, something that swept me up in the song of the crickets and wrapped me in the absence of busyness. Afternoon turned to evening. My son had long since run off, chasing fireflies and playing tag. But I stayed there in the potential of peace as dusk fell and the sounds of night came alive around me.
And I was content.
It’s a big thing to trust your whole world to God. I know. I’ve stumbled along that same road. You risk losing a lot – maybe everything. You could miss out on a promotion. Your finances could take a dive. Your health could be in question. You risk, risk, risk. You could be looking at the person in the mirror and questioning everything you thought you knew about her. But the one thing you’ll never do when you trust? (I mean TRUST. Hand everything over to Him.) You’ll never be without peace.
There’s all the potential in the world wrapped up in the peace He brings.
It’s a quiet strength that overtakes doubts. It’s a subdued silence that overpowers the voices of busyness constantly crying for our attention. And the moments spent in the quiet and the still –remarkably, they remind us to trust more than when we’re checking items off a To-Do list.
Close your eyes. Breathe. Forget the phone for a while. Find a hammock or a country field if you have to, but wherever you are today, make it full of potential. The potential for peace if we trust everything to Him.