When my Papaw told me he had cancer, a storm of fear and sadness swept in and clouded the skies of my heart. The Lord spoke peace to me, as conveyed in my poem entitled, "At Peace". This poem is it's bookend, and was written after his recent passing. I had the privilege to read it at the celebration of life service held after a family graveside service. Papaw didn't want a typical funeral. In fact, he didn't even really want his name mentioned at all. He wanted the Gospel preached and an invitation given. That's just the kind of man he was. Though the last 5 months have been difficult and sad, the Lord has been good to us, just as He always is. Two days before Papaw died, he said he wanted peace. On the day he was called Home, I opened one of the many devotional books Mamaw had on the table in the Hospice room. The title for that day’s devotional was “The Lord is Peace” and was based on Philippians 4:6-7, which just so happens to be the base verse for my poem, “At Peace”. I knew then that I needed to write this poem, not simply for some sort of closure (which I’m not sure you ever really have), and not even just to honor my Papaw. I knew I had to write this to honor my God and my Savior—ever faithful, ever true, and the only Source and Way of true peace. My heart is still sad, the saddest it's ever been, but it has peace I can't explain, a peace beyond my comprehension—the very peace of God. I hope that in your difficult moments you, too, find that indeed, the Lord is peace.
The Lord is Peace
Peace received through stormy skies
As night became his stay,
He sleeps now, free from suffering,
And will wake that Glorious Day,
To the voice of One familiar,
One found Faithful and True,
The One he lived to serve,
The One Who’s coming soon.
His spirit’s gone ahead,
Gone Home to receive its rest.
One Day Christ will return
To redeem this weary pilgrim’s flesh,
Then, redemption’s work complete
He’ll waken perfect, holy, pure,
And receive the Lord’s reward
For his faith which did endure.
Tested through the fire,
He’ll lay his treasure before the Lord,
Treasures stored in heaven,
Earned abiding in His Word.
I know if he were here today
His plea to you would be,
“Receive this day God’s gift of faith
Which He so freely offers thee.
Waste not another moment,
Call upon His precious Name.
My soul is at peace with Him,
I pray for you the same.”
Papaw was a man of wealth
In things that can’t be measured.
Human eyes can’t always see
What someone’s heart has treasured.
But anyone who knew him
Knew just what he held most dear,
His precious Lord and Savior,
Who now holds Papaw near.
We cannot know the days ahead,
When our last moment will be given,
When we’ll take our last of earthly breaths,
Next to breathe the air of heaven.
But we can know without a doubt
God’s peace we will receive,
When our faith is placed in Jesus Christ,
When on His Name our hearts believe.
The Savior is our refuge,
He’s our place of sweet relief,
Papaw left this earth, knowing
Indeed, the Lord is peace.
We press on now without him,
On our knees receiving grace,
Hoping to continue
His great legacy of faith.