Wonderful Peace During a Storm
My cardiologist looked at me and said, “Does that make sense?”
I sat across the table from him in a small room. I got that something wasn’t quite right with my heart. I got that they need to keep an eye on me. But most of what he said I didn’t hear. I can’t tell you what he said before he told me that my heart wall was thickening and hardening. There was nothing to do about it now. It can’t be reversed. It also means that my heart cannot rest like it should between beats.
My 7 year old crossed my mind. He’s so young. And I am not. I gave birth to him at 40. I’m no spring chicken. Now I know why my grandfather always said that raising kids was for the young. “I don’t want to leave him as a child,” I thought. “I want to see him graduate high school, go to college and marry and have children.”
I’ve had a lot of thoughts like those since Tuesday. I’m used to doctors giving me a clean bill of health. I haven’t had medical results like these — where I find out something really is wrong. Yes, I could stand to lose pounds. But that I could be high risk for COVID or diabetes — or other maladies — never really crossed my mind until now.
I’ve always thought I’d live a long life. And I may still. But the greatest comfort for me has always been the knowledge that I won’t die until the Lord is ready for me (Ps. 139:16). He knows the hours we will live. He is in control. I do not have to worry.
And yet … it’s a struggle. Like many in this pandemic, I have concerns. What I’ve learned about fear is something that can help, regardless of whether one deals with a heart issue or a pandemic.
Forty-four verses in the Bible specifically say, “fear not.” My favorite is Isaiah 41:10 (RSV) “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” A few verses later, he says, “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.'” It may be easier said than done, but it is an exercise in faith, one that can be very beneficial and comforting to those struggling with fear.
Jesus Christ is the answer to fear and anxiety. I’ve struggled with fear and anxiety since I was a young teenager. The best tools in my tool belt are Scripture reading and prayer. When I repeat verses back to Him, it strengthens me spiritually and gives the confidence I need to move forward.
God cares for me infinitely. I am much more valuable than a sparrow. (Matt. 10:31) I must put my trust in Him and lean on Him when I’m afraid. He is faithful to care for me and to give me peace that passes all understanding.
Here’s a beautiful song about peace called “Wonderful Peace.”
Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial-like strains it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.
Peace! Peace! wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above;
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray,
In fathomless billows of love.
What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace,
Buried deep in the heart of my soul;
So secure that no power can mine it away,
While the years of eternity roll. (Refrain)
I am resting tonight in this wonderful peace,
Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control;
For I’m kept from all danger by night and by day,
And His glory is flooding my soul. (Refrain)
And methinks when I rise to that City of peace,
Where the Author of peace I shall see,
That one strain of the song which the ransomed will sing,
In that heavenly kingdom shall be: (Refrain)
Ah! soul, are you here without comfort or rest,
Marching down the rough pathway of time?
Make Jesus your friend ere the shadows grow dark;
Oh, accept this sweet peace so sublime. (Refrain)