I write this from the study of my former Manse in Ripley, in which I’m still living as I await the move to our new Manse in Blackwell, Confused ?
It’s a simple explanation. The purchase of the new Manse fell through and so delayed the expected move from Ripley. The Amber Valley Circuit have been wonderful in allowing me to stay here until we can move. I thank them for their generosity. However, the fact that I have changed jobs into a new area but remained living in a house owned by someone else has left me somewhat disenfranchised. I don’t yet feel as though I belong anywhere and Alison and I feel uneasy about it. Crich Stand (memorial)
Today (Sept 21st) is also International Peace Day; a day in which we all pray and hope for peace across the world. A day of remembering everything across the world that has brought suffering and hardship to people and a day which reminds us of the ongoing need for reconciliation between all aspects of humanity.
Why do I mention these two things ? Why have I linked my move and International Peace Day together ? Simply because I am acutely aware that when we pray for peace, so often we’re thinking about foreign conflicts when peace is often needed at home as well. Families torn apart by relationships that are less than harmonious, bickering between neighbours, anxieties over finance, jobs, illness and so on. All these things and more make us ill at ease and can easily build up to bring long-term harm to us and others.
Whilst my frustration and impatience is nothing compared to the horrors of Afghanistan, nor the fear of cancer, it is nevertheless still a cause for concern. I count myself privileged to have a Saviour with whom I can share this frustration and anxiousness. The old hymn “What a Friend we have in Jesus” reminds us to take everything to him in prayer. It may sound simplistic and naïve but I have found that it is usually when I turn to Him that true peace is found even though the situation may not have been resolved.
So how do I turn to Him ? In my times of prayer, worship and quietness. In my times spent sharing any anxiety with close friends and with Alison my wife especially. Jesus speaks in the quietness and also through the wisdom and counsel of others.
True peace is not the absence of conflict, nor is it the absence of worry. True peace is only found when things can be shared with a true friend, and for me that true friend is and always will be Jesus.
I pray that today you will find that peace.