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Find a peaceful place

A dog barks in the distance and songbirds serenade as I enjoy the cool morning on my son and daughter-in-love’s front porch. The mockingbird’s lovely songs never fail to delight. In so many months of a rapidly changing world it is relaxing and peaceful to soak in the beauty of God’s creation.

As I have said before, I rarely watch the news. The craziness on planet earth continues to swirl, and I do read the paper, but just enough to keep me from joining the ignorant crowd. Actually, I think ignorance of truth drives so many people. They seem to only catch a small bit of truth and blow everything totally out of proportion.

Then, they spew the hate and rhetoric that they have heard. They twist the truth and post ridiculous things on social media, thus keeping others in an unhealthy state of drama. Many see something on social media and never think for themselves. They take what they have seen or heard as the gospel truth, and the ridiculous cycle continues.

Sorry for preaching; sometimes I get a little carried away. I suppose it’s from my days of working with children and youth in the school system. As I felt compelled to try to help and encourage my students I feel compelled to encourage my readers. I know that mental health issues are at a high point, and I truly believe that listening to the wrong voices is very detrimental both to our mental and physical health.

The only real truth is the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible gives us instruction to live a life of joy and peace no matter the circumstances of the world. When I spend time with the Lord talking to Him and reading His Word I go to my happy place and rest there.

This morning, as I rest in that quiet place, I’m reminded of a beautiful old hymn written in the early 1900’s by Cleland McAfee. He was a Presbyterian minister who faced the tragic loss of his two infant nieces to diphtheria. His brother’s home was under quarantine, and they were unable to receive comfort and consolation from their friends and family because of the risk of spreading the disease. MacAffee was brokenhearted and wanted desperately to give a word of comfort to his family and his congregation. Under these grave circumstances he penned the following lyrics.

 

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

Oh Jesus blest redeemer sent from the heart of God

Hold us who wait before Thee near to the heart of God

 

There is a place of comfort sweet near to the heart of God

A place where we our Savior meet near to the heart of God

Oh Jesus blest redeemer sent from the heart of God

Hold us who wait before Thee near to the heart of God

 

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.