“A tranquil heart is life to the body.” (Proverbs 14:30 Berean Study Bible)
As I contemplated writing this devotional entitled, ‘TRANQUILITY’, I remembered a beautiful summer evening several years ago when my sister and her husband who were living in North Wales took us to see the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall which was not far from their home. It was early evening and the sun was low in the sky, preparing to set. The air was warm and the beauty of God’s creation was overwhelming as we watched the crystal clear water cascading down the rocks, throwing up spray that revealed rainbows as the sun shone through the mist.
Suddenly we became aware of another sound and realised a group of smartly dressed men had gathered on the hillside beside the waterfall. As they began to sing ‘Guide me Oh Thou Great Jehovah’ their harmonious voices rang out across the valley, blending beautifully with the splashing, dancing waterfall. We stood in awestruck wonder as both our visual and audible senses were lifted into a place we can only describe as sacred.
In the last twelve months the world has been thrown into chaos by an invisible enemy – the dreaded COVID19 virus. This has resulted in widespread chaos as churches demanded the right to meet, conspiracy theories and arguments over the vaccine became irrational on social media. Fear gripped many who became terrified of both virus and vaccine. Suicides increased and families were devastated by separation and the death of loved ones. Zoom prayer meetings began to attract people who shouted at God, claiming an end to the virus. Prophetic voices were heard regarding the American election whilst others proclaimed that God was about to send a world revival. Most of these have proved to be wrong!
Amid this chaos came a few quiet voices who began to give their time to lead daily prayers and devotions to help and encourage people. Amid these voices came Max Lucado. In March 2020, Max asked, “What do you think God might be saying to our world just now?” After a pause, he smiled reassuringly and added, “I think God may be speaking to our world - calling people to turn back to Him. And I think God is testing the church.” His gentleness and smile were reassuring and his words held a ring of truth. Clearly he had sought God in prayer to ask if He was saying something through this world crisis. My prayer times became oases of silence, seeking the face of God and listening for His still small voice, sometimes alone, and sometimes with brothers and sisters who gather online for daily devotions. This year has changed me. It has not been without pain and loss, even within my own family, yet God has taught me to trust Him in all circumstances, even when I don’t understand.
Finding tranquillity is not based on our circumstances, but on how much we trust God. When we truly know in our heart that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, that He will come to take us to where He is and that even death cannot separate us from His love, then we shall surely know His tranquillity in every storm.
There is a pure and tranquil wave,
That issues from the throne of grace;
Whose waters gladden as they lave
The bright and heavenly dwelling place.
In living streams behold that tide,
Through Christ, the Rock, profusely burst,
And in His Word behold supplied,
The fount for which our spirits thirst.
The pilgrim, faint, who seems to sink
Beneath the sultry sky of time,
May here repose and freely drink
The waters of that better clime
(William Ball 1825)