Peace At Last — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Peace At Last — Morning Devotions

"The Lord gives strength to his people, and the Lord blesses his people with peace." - Psalm 29:11

By Chris WittsWednesday 5 Jul 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Imagine for a moment two young parents. The older child, a toddler now into the terrible twos has gone off to sleep. But their younger child, who’s only 10 months, is having a hard time. You see teeth are coming. The daytime isn’t so bad, but it seems that the teeth are having a growth spurt at about 12:30 at night, which lasts for four hours. So Mum puts some soothing gel to the inflamed gums of the baby. The parents take turns, and they are about walking the floor. They feel like zombies patting, cuddling, trying to calm the crying baby. And eventually, early in the morning, the baby drops off to sleep.

He’s gently laid back in his cot with a reassuring stroke while mum and dad step back and with a weary size say the one-word – peace. Perhaps that scenario was just a bit far back for you to remember. Think of all the family grown up and Christmas Day comes around – a great time. You just love watching their delight as they rip apart the wrapping and look at their lovely present and then at lunch time with all the noise, the presents are undone and the children chasing each other around the house, having the occasional collisions and the crying. Slowly the afternoon passes, gathering up of bags and highchairs, and Mum and Dad wave everybody goodbye. The car disappears down the end, and mum and dad turn to each other with that word – peace.

Maybe you’ve been living a hectic life, and you’re looking forward to getting away for that long-awaited holiday. And you arrive at that holiday after being exhausted from work and the clearing away of jobs and you flop down in a comfortable chair. And again, you breathe that word. Peace.

So what is this word? Peace – is peace just the absence of noise and busy kids and anxiety, worry fear? Or is it something more? Let me tell you about Horatio Spafford. He was an attorney who lived in Chicago in the mid to late 19th century.

He was the father of four daughters, and he was a friend of the evangelist called DL Moody. But then things started to go wrong. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which wiped out the family’s investments. And when Moody and his music associate, IRA Sany, left for Great Britain to do evangelistic campaigns, Horatio Spafford decided to assist them in meetings, and he decided to take his family along with them. But it was November 1873. Spafford was detained by some urgent business, but he sent his wife and four daughters on ahead. His wife and Children were on board the Atlantic, but the ship was on a collision with an English vessel and sank within 12 minutes. Tragically, all four of Stafford’s daughters were drowned. 226 lost their lives. But Stafford’s wife, Anna, was one of the few who was miraculously saved. So sometime shortly after, as Horatio Spafford was on his way to rejoin his wife, the ship passed where the collision had occurred. And despite the intense sorrow for his daughters, Spafford, who was a man of deep faith, became inspired to write a hymn, and the words were, “It is well with my soul when peace, like a river, are 10th my way, when sorrows like sea billow’s role. Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say it is well with my soul. And though Satan should buffet, though trial should come. Let this blessed assurance control that Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, shed his own blood for my soul and Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll, the trumpet shall resound, and the Lord shall descend. Even so, it is well with my soul.”

Those were the words that he penned in the old hymn. And here was a man who, in the midst of tragedy and intense grief, looked on his own soul and said, regardless of whatever life brings, peace like a river. Whatever would come my way…

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, it’s hard to imagine the tragedy and the loss of Children. And yet, Lord, knowing your peace and justice, Horatio Spafford knew, your peace is a wonderful thing. Give me the courage, Lord, to accept that you know my way in spite of what may happen, and you deliver your own peace in a wonderful way. Amen.

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