December 19, 2006
Encouragement for Today
“Heavenly Peace on Earth”
Tracie Miles, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker
John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (NIV)
Almost everyone likes to travel. The travel advertisements that bombard our lives every day make traveling look so enticing. Pictures of exotic hotels with pampering spa services, palm trees rustling on warm tropical beaches, and cruise ships sailing through the calm sea waters tempt us to book a trip. Those visions are not a reality if you are a business traveler, jumping from airport to airport, never smelling the salty air or feeling the warm
A job I held for many years required me to do a lot of traveling. I have never considered air travel to be as pleasurable as the airline commercials suggest. After months of consecutive flying, I had gotten accustomed to repeated flight delays, stale pretzels, and cramped quarters with other people who were not enjoying the trials of travel either.
I had flown enough to lose the white knuckles and shortness of breath during every take off, landing or turbulence, and I began to enjoy the brief time I spent on the plane. Each time I boarded a plane, God tugged at my heart to spend time with Him, so I began carrying my Bible with me. It allowed me rare opportunities for meaningful quiet time, all alone, just God and me. (As an employee, wife, and mother of three, any quiet time at all was a pure miracle!)
There is something very special about hovering above the cotton clouds with the blinding sunshine and the warmth of its closeness on my face. The blue skies with subtle pink and yellow highlights make me feel so close to God, and near His heavens. It is easy to imagine how beautiful and peaceful heaven must be as the plane soars up there.
On some flights, when the plane dipped beneath the clouds to make its descent, I realized the day wasn’t as I had thought at all. It was dreary, clouds were black not white and it was gloomy with rain. Instantly I felt saddened, and oh how I wanted to leap back up where nature’s beauty had brought joy into my heart - where I was close to the heavens, and where peace was so easily obtained.
On one particular trip God shared His peace with me, and I recognized He had a specific reason for putting me into circumstances that don’t always seem enjoyable. That day, God reminded me that I should always feel close to Him, and bask in the warmth of His peace every day. He showed me that I don’t need to be 30,000 feet in the air to feel near to Him. He is as close as I want Him to be, and as close as I will allow Him to be, every second of every day.
When we’re faced with trials, God wants us to seek his guidance and rise above the problems through his strength, grace and mercy so that we can bask in the warmth of His peacefulness. Just as I wanted to steer the plane back up into the clouds to the peacefulness of the skies, God desires for us to steer our hearts towards Him and seek the warmth of His face upon ours.
During this Christmas season, take time to remember that Jesus is standing by your side everywhere you go – in the mall, at the grocery store, at a holiday gathering, and in your kitchen. When you begin to feel burdened by the busyness of the season, allow yourself to imagine you are soaring high above the clouds, basking in His warmth and feeling His love on your heart.
I was not able to steer the plane back into the skies when I wanted to return to the peacefulness above, but I could steer my heart back to God. You can too, anytime you choose. In this way we can have peace on earth as it is in heaven.
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, please cleanse my soul and cover me with the peace that only you can provide. Help me remember that when I am facing trials or feeling discouraged, that I should look to the skies and see the beauty of Your face in the clouds. Renew my heart and mind so that I can maintain my joy everyday, knowing that I have eternal life in You and that You love me unconditionally. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer by Cheri Fuller
Yummy Oatmeal Christmas Pancakes Recipe, ETC Corner
Pray today for God’s peace to encompass your heart. Pray for peace to surround you in your job, your home life, your marriage, your parental duties, your holidays, and every area of your life.
Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace.” (NIV)
Psalm 103:11 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” (NIV)
Originally published Tuesday, 19 December 2006.