Waves beat against the shore. Branches rustle as the wind pushes them back and forth, back and forth. One hundred yards out, a seagull drifts along the surface of the water, as another flies overhead, chanting his anxious cry. Majestic blue peaks rise from the horizon, as the brilliant fire of the setting sun lights the sky. A beautiful summer's eve, and in this moment I feel a simple peace.
“Mommy, Mommy! Look at the boat!” The world through a three-year-old's eyes – so enchanted by simplicities of life. I gather her into my arms, and her little hands reach around my neck as she presses her cheek to my shoulder. She freely gives me her love, and I relish in the delight of being the hero of her young life.
“Look, Mommy!” a hand points upwards excitedly. I raise my eyes and see the evening star as it shines above in the still-darkening sky.
“Wish upon a star,” I whisper into the little ear, kissing her cheek.
“I want Daddy to come home,” she states simply. The star blurs in my vision as my heart leaps nearly out of my chest at the mention of his name. I quickly bring my hand to wipe away tears that slip down my cheek.
I pull her closer to my body and begin to shower her with kisses. “Me too, baby girl. Me too.”
As she breathes in and out slowly half an hour later, tucked under the covers of her trundle bed, I run my fingers across the delicate cheek and whisper “I love you” before tip-toeing out the door. As I close it behind me, I lean against the wall and let the tears trickle down freely.
Iraq is so far away! A telephone call once every two weeks, an email maybe three times a week or maybe not for a month, but never his strong arms to hold me when I crave his presence. Why, God? My silent prayer rises from my heart. It always seems to me as if my prayers must hit the ceiling and stop there.
I make myself ready for bed and crawl under the covers. The large black Bible lies on the nightstand next to his side of the bed. For some reason I want to read it tonight. I reach over and take it off the nightstand, flipping through the pages. What can I find that will comfort my aching and anxious mind?
My eyes look down to read a phrase, a promise really. Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” What does that mean, Lord? My heart cries out. I crave that heart of peace in the midst of the aching and the longing.
Could it be that I have been seeking the peace I long for outside of the Source? I have not kept my mind “stayed” on God, trusting in Him for the safety of my husband who fights for freedom halfway across the world in the midst of innumerable dangers. Even if he should give his life, would that peace remain steadfast despite great loss?
Perfect peace. PERFECT peace. What would that look like?
Delighting in the beauty and the wonderful blessings of this life. Relishing in the beauty of a brilliant sunset, soaking in the hug of the most beautiful three-year-old in the world, thanking God His faithful love that transcends even the love of a most honorable man. Observing God's hand in every moment of my life; allowing the spontaneous worship to rise up in my heart – God, You are GOOD!
It is not a secret that has been hidden away, but rather written across the pages of the Word. It is simply that my eyes have not seen it until this moment. Yes, I want that perfect peace.
I fold the Bible and leave it on his side of the bed. Turning off the light, I lay my head on the pillow and begin to thank my Lord for His peace. Thank You for beauty, thank You for love, thank You for hope, thank You for life....Jesus, You meet my every need. You give me everything for which I have sought....
Tonight my rest will be sweet, as I will find the longings of my soul.
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