Near the heart of God

Published 8:36 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This morning as I strolled through my yard, instead of sounds of nature’s awakening the roar of the nearby interstate highway assaulted my ears. Distressed that I hadn’t thought long and hard of the noise level before the move, I couldn’t help but wonder where I would find that place of quiet rest for my soul.

“I have nothing to write this morning, Lord. How will my inspiration come? How do people enjoy this noisy street? The neighbors say they can’t even hear the traffic noise, but that seems almost hard to believe.”

After complaining left me empty, I found my way into the still unorganized house and walked around searching for something. I strolled into the master bedroom and noticed the lamps didn’t match the new curtains. I moved them to another bedroom, and they didn’t fit there either.

Pictures that had yet to be hung seemed to stare at me from every corner. They looked out of place and forlorn. A stack of pots and pans leaned precariously where Mike had left them on the kitchen counter. Clutter… it seemed to fill every room. With a sigh I silently acknowledged, “Yes, my heart is also cluttered with cares and worries. There are good things about our move, but I am just not used to it here.”

Words from an old hymn that I learned as a child began to form in my brain. “There is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God, a place where sin cannot molest near to the heart of God”(Cleland Boyd McAfee, 1903). I had allowed myself to linger too long already in my state of “stinkin’ thinkin’,” so I picked up the book with all the answers. As God’s word poured into my heart, my soul found the quiet place of rest I had been searching for. The anxiety and distress hovering over me concerning my change of scenery fell away, and my attitude changed.

Instead of worrying over a little thing that I’m sure I, like the other neighbors, won’t even hear after a while, I began to see the bigger picture. My thoughts turned to the sweet lady next door who visits her husband each day in the nursing home. I’ll bet she would love to come over for dinner and see how the place is coming along. The widow down the street must get lonely. I really need to invite her over for coffee one afternoon soon.

My friend Debbie has been asking me to come to water aerobics at her neighborhood pool. It is right down the road. I think I’ll go tomorrow. Change can be difficult, but I know this new place will have a beauty all its own if I will only open my eyes and see with my heart.

As always, when my focus turned from myself to the needs of others, that peace that passes understanding began to flow. My furniture is not all fitting into my smaller home, and a lot of it must be stored until the dust settles. Maybe this will be home for a long time; maybe it’s a stop in the road until another lovely place emerges.

But regardless of that, I am reminded that my place of quiet rest is found not in my home or circumstance, but near to the heart of God.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at