Hope

What!?? Two posts in as many days!! What’s THAT about then?

The thing is, yesterday, a wave of HOPE washed over me, just as I was was driving along. I've written about it:

 Yesterday, an illogical wave of Hope swept over me.
 It felt so good.
 Even amidst the global crisis I was reminded that there is Hope.

 Jesus himself walked with us in our darkest times.
 He lay, emaciated in Bergen-Belsen
 He crouched in the Anderson shelter hearing the bombs whining and crashing.
 He waded into the water at Hiroshima, in skies red and black.
 He fled the great fire of London.
 He sat on dusty plains of Africa's famines
 and cried in Romania's orphanages
 He heard the cries 'bring out your dead' as plague stalked the land.
 He was a refugee, fleeing murderous threats.
Oppressed, like honest men under communist rule.
Rounded up, like the Jews. Did I mention he was Jewish?

He was the object of lies, and mockery, falsely arrested.
Betrayed and tortured and murdered, 
like monks as their monasteries were pulled down around their ears.
He walks  through hospital wards and sits by hospice beds
And rules from a throne, highly exalted.

He is alive. He is hope. In our midst.  Personified.
His cry of 'HOPE' can be a whisper deep inside, almost unbelievable. Almost.
Or HOPE can be a cry from Heaven, echoing across the land
Bouncing off mountains and oceans alike.
Coming from an empty tomb in Israel.
It is a sure thing.
Hope. Hope. HOPE.
 
 

Peace

I have been considering peace . . . His Peace

The bible tells us He, Himself is our Peace
That His wonderful illogical peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ.

When I google ‘peace’, it takes me to pictures of still lakes, tranquil sunsets and gentle doves.
Or peace demonstrations, CND emblems, as if peace can be imposed by marching and shouting for it.

But Peace cannot be demanded. Nor is it just in stillness.

The peace of most value is the peace Jesus brings, when he says ‘Peace be with you’ – his ofttimes greeting.

This peace is a gift, a promise. Best of all, it offers its company not just in stillness and beauty but in ferocious times of trial and testing.

The hand of Christ needs to rise up and cry ‘Peace’
If it stilled the storms of life that would be good. 
But even better when it stills inners storms of heart and mind.

I love the progression of Psalm 27. 
So often, it is quoted just from verse 4 ‘One thing I desire . . .’ but this loses the powerful context.

In verse 2, enemies are attacking David
by the beginning of verse 3, the city is under siege 
by the end of verse 3, war has arisen.

David’s response to all of this is to dwell in God’s house, to gaze upon God.
to declare the ‘one thing’ that is needed – to seek God.
To offer sacrifices with shouts of joy. To worship. 
This is His source – the Presence of God. 

Now we truly see why, in verse 1, God is his light, his salvation and the reason he is unafraid.

True peace is the peace that is found from within, during the storm.

It is interesting that the ‘eye’ of a storm is the wildest, most dangerous place to be, if at sea. Waves from all directions, at extremes heights, collide in chaos.
Yet, if you are on land, even though winds swirl around it at enormous speeds, the eye of the storm itself is a place of utter stillness. Of peace.

We need to be on the rock. Grounded in Christ with our eyes fixed on Him.
Then no matter what storms rage around us, our inner peace can be maintained by Him.

How easy it is to know the theory, yet to find this peace can be so difficult.
Vincent Van Gough famously said ‘there is peace even in the storm’, yet tragically took his own life. We need to know it, not just know about it.

May the Lord be with you.
Peace be with you.




Feel free to follow my meanderings on instagram.emma_treesoflife
(Phil 4:7, Col 3:15, Ps 27 1-5)