We lived in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho from 1978 – 1988. It was a paradise with just a tad more winter than we needed.
For three of those years I traveled each week all over the United States and Canada conducting two-day prayer seminars for World Literature Crusade. I loved involving people from all kinds of denominational backgrounds… calling them to pray for the evangelization of the world.
I also loved being in a different city each week-end. But what I loved the most was the trip back home to my sweetheart and my two young sons. As the plane would descend into the Spokane airport, we would pass over vast green forests and sparkling lakes. It was breathtaking. Cities had their allure, but the beauty of our little part of God’s back country had the cities beat all to pieces.
We’re now living in Coeur d’ Alene again – there’s not much city in our lives anymore.
Except for the past month… it seems like we’ve had our share of a lot of cities… all in turmoil and many charred and scarred possibly for decades to come. We’re all spending a lot of time in cities through the news coming into our homes and psyches.
This morning Joanie and I toted a bit of breakfast with us and sought out several places of greenery, vitality and spiritual renewal. We drove almost in silence at times completely in awe at how God keeps his world. There was harmony, not discord. There was beauty, not trash. We witnessed calm, not chaos. Displaced pieces of our hearts were fitted back into place.
“Is this peace only available in places like Coeur d’ Alene?” I asked God. If He would have said “Yes” I would have felt hopeless for those of you who must live in the city. But God said “No. It doesn’t take natural beauty to bring wholeness to any of my children. I don’t need trees and lakes and streams and open vistas to create peace.”
He reminded me that He (and only He) can produce peace in the midst of the storm. In the infamous ‘valley of the shadow of death’ (Psalm 23) – He stays close. When surrounded by a thousand or even ten thousand villains (Psalm 91) – their threats can’t get close to those He guards.
No matter the kind or number of weapons turned against us (Isaiah 55:17) – they will miss us every time. The fight may come to us, but with God’s armor in place, we can stand confidently on city pavement or wooded trail… AND WIN!