“I’ve got the peace surpassing understanding down in my heart; down in my heart; down in my heart. I’ve got the peace surpassing understanding down in my heart; down in my heart to stay.”
This is one of my favorite verses to one of my favorite songs from vacation bible school of my youth. It’s only over the course of the past month that I’ve understood its words clearly!
We’ve just celebrated Ascension and Pentecost. Father Karl, at the Tripartite Ascension service, spoke of the time between those two events. It was a time of the unknown for the disciples. They only had Jesus’s instructions to stay in the city until they had been “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;” is what we read in Acts 1:8. In those ten days in the upper room, I’m sure there were plenty of times that they rehashed the things that Jesus had said and done before His departure. I like to imagine some of the following commentary: “Wait…what did He say?” “Clothed with power? What does that mean!?!” “When??” “Wait. Was that it!?! How will we know when it happens?” Both Father Karl and Deacon Michele likened the time between these two events to labor pains and childbirth. I too find myself in the “between time” with a multitude of questions. At this moment, I don’t know what it’ll be like to be at seminary, or to live in a city nearly a 1000 miles from my family and friends, or to be without a car. It is an exciting and scary time.
It could be a stressful time at our house. On top of the usual stresses for our family with a soon to be high school graduate, there are two major moves to prepare for plus the changes in our current “vocations”. There are a LOT of loose ends to tie up before August 1st and less than 70 days in which to tie them all up. However, instead of heightened stress, there is peace…in abundance…in our house. (Though, admittedly, my body realizes it is under stress and has manifested such stress with a face full of acne!) Despite a future that is FULL of unknowns, Kaleigh and I know that we’re headed in the directions God has in mind for us. This peace surpasses our understanding…except to know that this peace is from God.
Father Karl frequently mentions that with God there are no coincidences. I take great delight in discovering God’s irony. As I sat down to write this, the words of Phillipians 4:7 seemed appropriate, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Then I looked at last month’s article and realized that I’d shared Phillipians 4:6: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” I found it interesting that these two consecutive verses ended up being the reflection points for these two consecutive months. Martin Luther King said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” It seems this journey is taking place step by step and verse by verse…with a whole lot of prayer!
I am thankful to have you on this journey with me. As always, your prayers are coveted and felt.