Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mining for Peace

I live in Southern Oregon, close to a community that has the distinction of being the first Gold-Rush town in Oregon. It's a lovely little community that is on the historical register. Yes, the whole town is on the register.

I've always been fascinated with the idea of the gold rush and of mining gold. No, I'm not a treasure hunter, but the idea of prospectors has always captured my imagination. I remember as a kid going to the nearby Applegate River (seen above) with my folks, and all of us trying our hand at panning for gold. We knew we wouldn't find anything, but it was great fun to try.

I understand now, though, that the realities of mining for gold are nothing like my childhood fun. It's hard work. Backbreaking work. Work that brings more heartache than joy. And, back in the day, it was as hazardous as it got. Even today, gold mining is a risky occupation. And, in many ways, as painstaking as it was back with the ol' '49ers.

I've been mining lately, too. And it's been hard work. Heart-breaking work. Work that has, at times, brought me more heartache than joy. But here's the difference between my mining work and that of gold miners: What I'm digging for isn't buried in stone--it's buried in words. In understanding. In the spirit.

In me.

Deep inside.

I'm mining for peace. Digging through Scripture. Chipping away at preconceived notions. Swirling knowledge and feelings together, peering close to find the sparkle that will make my heart beat faster. That shine of God's truth, oftentimes barely visible through the wash of circumstances and the pebbles of worries. Interesting thing is, the deeper I dig, the more I realize there's only one way to see past all that conceals God's peace.


As Scripture says it, "Be still and know."

Webster's defines stillness as:

  •  freedom from agitation; calmness, serenity
  •  absence of movement
  •  the quality or state of being soundless; quiet, silence
  •  patience; fortitude

As an off-the-scale extrovert, I'm not often still. Or calm. Or silent. So the idea of stillness is...hard. And yet, there is a place inside me that welcomes the idea. That longs to know this stillness, this serenity. And so that's my next step on this journey. To learn and embrace stillness. I can't do it on my own. But I can do it with God's help.

When the storm rages around me, I will ask for calm.
When the winds of fear batter me, I will seek God's help to stop striving. I will ask Him to show me how to rest in His promises.
When worry nibbles at the edges of my spirit, I will choose silence before my Father.
When it seems there are no answers to my questions, no supply for my need, I will ask for the fortitude to wait on my Lord.

May we all learn to be still...

And know.


Paula Scott Bicknell said...

"Be still and know that I am God" has so been on my heart these past few months, mostly concerning my 19 year old daughter. Loved this blog, Karen. Thanks so much!I will be mining for peace with you.

Jennifer Major said...

The thought that just struck me is that even when we're as still as we can be, when we lay flat on the ground and let the Earth carry us along, there is one noise we cannot stop, one sound that never quits. No matter how silent our surroundings become, our heart continues to remind us that we're alive. The hypnotic rhythm of life itself tolls with the knowledge we're His, and in His hand.

Michelle Massaro said...

Beautiful post, Karen. I can relate so well and yet, I'm an introvert! But I can sometimes tend to use my quiet solitude to look inward and pick things apart with my own logic rather than using the stillness to bask in His presence knowing He is God, letting Him reveal to me.

I'm praying for your heart. The Lord has a purpose in everything.

Karen B. said...

Wonderful thoughts, ladies. Thank you.