Peace, Be Still!

Misty meadows along the trail to McNeil Point, Oregon

Misty meadows along the trail to McNeil Point, Oregon

There’s a song that has been impacting me for a few weeks now:

 

Peace, be still

Say the word and I will

Set my feet upon the sea

Till I’m dancing in the deep

Peace, be still

You are here so it is well

Even when my eyes can’t see

I will trust the voice that speaks

 

When we go out into the wilderness, we go with a certain amount of risk.  We don’t know everything there is to know; we don’t know what the weather will do, what the trail / road conditions will be, what wild animals we will encounter, or how we will react to the environments we find ourselves in.  Going into the wilderness is not for the faint of heart.

Adventures are not for the faint of heart.  Cape Perpetua, Oregon

Adventures are not for the faint of heart. Cape Perpetua, Oregon

When we embark on an adventure in God, there is a risk factor involved.  We don’t know everything there is to know; we don’t know how we will get between point A and point B, what will happen along the way, what dangers and storms we will find as we go, or how we will react to the environments we find ourselves in.  Adventuring with God is not for the faint of heart.

Trail up Gnarl Ridge below Mt. Hood, Oregon

Trail up Gnarl Ridge below Mt. Hood, Oregon

But there comes a time when trust overcomes fear.  We go out to the wilderness despite the risk. We trust God and His character more than we are afraid of the risks of following Him.

Following a trail-less crack of ancient lava in Lava Beds National Monument, California

Following a trail-less crack of ancient lava in Lava Beds National Monument, California

Trust doesn’t make the trail or the adventure easy, but it takes it from impossibility to worth the risk.  Love always trusts, and love drives out fear (1 Cor 13:7; 1 John 4:18).

Peace removes the fear of risk because in peace there is hope of comfort; hope of good things.  Peace allows clear thinking, making choices that we won’t later regret.  Trust comes in peace because we can not only make calculated decisions, but also trust the peace-giver to carry through with what He started.

Walking Cannon Beach, Oregon

Walking Cannon Beach, Oregon

But sometimes on the trail or in the adventures of God, peace is as much hard-earned as trust.  There is a reason right before Jesus died He spoke over His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27).  He knew that peace was necessary for them to weather this storm; to trust through the trauma and get through to the other side.

Lassen Peak from the Cinder Cone, California

Lassen Peak from the Cinder Cone, California

On the trail, I have had times when I have lost peace about our situation.  Fear takes over, and it rarely ends well.

Don't give in to fear now!  Scrambling headlands near Strawberry Point in Olympic National Park, Washington

Don’t give in to fear now! Scrambling headlands near Strawberry Point in Olympic National Park, Washington

Fear is the opposite of trust; fear is the opposite of peace.  When we learn to walk in peace through our lives, through the wilderness, through the adventures (or sometimes, what seems like misadventures), we learn to walk in trust of God and His character.  Walking through these situations still may not be our cup of tea, but we have learned to love where God has us and to not freak out because can trust the peace-giver more than the circumstances we are in.  Like the same artist wrote:

 

I’m not gonna be afraid

‘Cause these waves are only waves

I’m not gonna be afraid

I’m not gonna be afraid

I’m not gonna fear the storm

You are greater than its roar

I’m not gonna fear the storm

I’m not gonna fear at all!

Scrambling slickrock above Coyote Gulch in Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah

Scrambling slickrock above Coyote Gulch in Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah