The apartment was quiet. My 5-month-old daughter had fallen asleep a few minutes ago in her stroller in the kitchen, where I just finished up washing lunch dishes. My toddler son was soundly sleeping in his bed in the bedroom. And my husband was napping on the couch in the living room.
I went to sit in the armchair by the window, took a deep breath, and opened a book. I wanted to enjoy this precious tranquil moment under the Spring daylight. However, random thoughts running through my mind made this rare occasion rather loud, too loud that I couldn’t even concentrate on the page of the book.
Those thoughts mainly were —-
“I hope Esther won’t wake up too soon.”
“Caleb didn’t sleep long yesterday. Hopefully, there won’t be noise from the neighbors to wake him up again.”
“What is the Covid-19 situation in Switzerland today? I should probably check the news.”
Throughout the day, there were times when I longed for some quiet moments to gather my thoughts or read a book over a cup of coffee, you know, those Instagram-worthy moments, to reconnect with peace. But more often than not, my kids wouldn’t allow me, for they either wouldn’t take a nap or wake up too soon, which left me frustrated, causing me to lose peace altogether.
Now, ironically, on this peaceful early afternoon, the peace I’d desired seemed to be out of reach.
Perhaps, peace doesn’t live in a quiet house.
I caught sight of a verse printed in capital letters from the book I’d opened. “ Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46: 10 )
I let these words sink in. They were speaking of the real comfort I needed. I wanted more of them. So I went on reading the whole psalm 46 in my TPT Bible.
God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge!
You’re a proven help in time of trouble—
more than enough and always available whenever I need you.
So we will never fear
even if every structure of support were to crumble away.
We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes,
moving mountains and casting them into the sea.
For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves
cannot erode our faith in you. ( Psalm 46:1-3)
A baby cry broke the silence in the room as I finished reading the last verse of the Psalm. Esther woke up from her nap, and I wasn’t rattled. For the peace I was looking for earlier in the quiet hour, I needn’t look any further. I took my bible to the kitchen, softly singing the verse out loud while pushing my daughter’s stroller back and forth to calm her down.
“The river of the Holy Spirit flows in and through us, the holy dwelling places of the almighty God. He is in the middle of the city, secure and never shaken.” (modified from verse 4,5 )
I made up some simple melody and sang these verses over and over. The sense of joy rushed into my heart. Peace, that’s deeper than a mere good feeling, stilled my mind and gave me confidence and strength for the rest of the day.
Challenges and difficulties in life are inevitable, even without a pandemic. The question is, when they come, how can we find ourselves dwell in peace, not fear? For us moms with young children, as much as we adore the Instagram photos of a stack of books and a cute mug of coffee in a cozy corner, peace doesn’t depend on a tidy house or a quiet room. The truth is, the kind of peace that’s more than just a temporary state and a beautiful photo doesn’t reside anywhere else other than in God. And we have access to it through Christ.
You may be struggling with health, the unpaid bills, the demanding children, or a difficult relationship with a family member. I am here to remind you today that you are not stuck. You have a place of peace to run to and rest. Perhaps open your bible to Palms 46, read or sing the verses out loud, let the words sink in your heart, and allow the Prince of Peace to do the rest.