A Perfect Kind of Peace

This last summer, my family and I managed to grab a short break in a quaint little village in North Yorkshire. From this village, we travelled by steam train across the moors to the seaside town of Whitby. This is the same Whitby that Bram Stoker uses in his famous story of Dracula, where the titular villain is brought to England’s shores after being shipwrecked. The same Whitby associated with Captain Cook, who sailed to Australia and discovered the Hawaiian Islands. This place has some history!

Being a seaside town, it’s evident that the sea plays a significant part in its economy through tourism and fishing. Its harbour is unique, from the swing-bridge section of the one main road through Whitby to the yacht marina and to the two pier lighthouses.

On one side of the harbour, you can make your way down to a small harbour beach on the left or sit and watch the waves crash against the massive rocks a little further on and down to the right. Before our return steam train journey home in the late afternoon, my family and I sat near those rocks, watching the waves. We became mesmerised by the action of the water as it flowed in and out. We sat far enough away to be caught only a little by the sea spray. The wind was blowing a gale out at sea, and the waves regularly came in large and small. I’m not sure for how long we sat there. It was a rare occasion for us as, for a little while, none of us spoke; we sat in silence and watched the power of the sea at work in front of us. You could say that we all felt at peace for a few brief moments despite the energy and noise of those waves. Eventually, we had to leave, and our day trip ended. We had to go to catch our train, but we’ll carry the memory of that moment for the rest of our lives.

Our family adventure got me thinking about the momentary peace offered by situations like this and how it might compare with the peace offered by Jesus.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

The answer is that the peace of Christ is fundamentally different from the peace of the world. Our brief but memorable experience was always going to end but the peace offered by Jesus – a peace that was tested through the horrors of the crucifixion and remained intact – is one we can take hold of for all time if we choose to receive the free gift of eternal life. Those of us who believe in Him and worship Him have access to this divine peace to help us through the toughest of situations and circumstances, loss and grief.

As the waves of life crash upon us, we don’t need to be mesmerised by what is happening, tossed to and fro by the jostling tides, but instead, we look to Jesus and worship Him through it all. As we keep our eyes fixed upon Him, the author and perfecter of our faith, we won’t ever grow weary nor lose heart.

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