Chasing Waterfalls

Peace - To some, it may mean a quiet ride in the car without children fighting or complaining. To others, it may mean sitting on a sandy beach with a good book. To most, it’s the absence of conflict, pain, and/or noise. To God, it means we’ve finally put all of our faith and trust in Him.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 NLT

This past weekend, my husband and I went hiking in the Smoky Mountains. It was a trail we’d hiked over 25 years ago when we were in college, so it was a walk (or hike) down “Memory Lane” for us both. If you’ve ever visited the mountains, you know that cell reception is spotty at best and non-existent most of the time. So once we entered Cade’s Cove park, even the satellite radio didn’t work.

With it being the end of October, the fall colors were gloriously vibrant, and the park was packed with leaf peepers from all over the country. For once, we weren’t really in a hurry, so we sat back in the silence and followed the trail of cars through the scenic drive until we reached the trail we wanted to hike. It felt odd being cut off from the outside world, but there was something refreshing about it as well.

Parking the car, we hopped out, grabbed our bag with water and snacks, and headed toward the Abrams Falls Trail. It wasn’t overly crowded in this area, just some fellow hikers here and there. When we weren’t chatting about life - past, present, and future, we were listening to the sounds around us. The rustling of leaves as a snake slithered past, the trickling of the brook at our side, the crashing of the falls at the end of the trail - all were incredibly peaceful.

It was in those moments that I felt what God must mean by true peace. The trials of life were miles away; and without phones, they couldn’t reach us. We were surrounded by God’s beautiful creation. I began to think. If He could create something as magnificent as the Smoky Mountains, seasons with vibrant colors and leaves, knotty trees with snakelike roots, and fascinating wildlife, then surely He can take care of me. That’s true peace.

Peace is the comfort that God has got us. It’s the knowledge that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. It’s facing trials while putting our complete faith and trust in Him.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

We faced steep inclines on our hike that day. Legs were burning and muscles ached, but the peaceful beauty around us made it all worthwhile.

Whatever you’re facing right now, God’s got you. He has your life in the palm of His hand. All He wants you to do is lean into Him and trust Him with the outcome. Embrace the peace that He so freely offers.

JOURNAL: What is God speaking to you right now? How does He want you to respond? How will you respond?

PRAYER: God, I know You know the future, and You work all things for good. Right now, I’m struggling to see the good around me. Give me the peace that passes all understanding and help me to fully rest in You. Amen
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