A Place Called Peace

by | Dec 28, 2016 | Peace, Rest, Trust | 0 comments

I experienced two significant
events 36 years apart that were strangely similar. In 1981, I turned in my
badge as a police officer to step into the new role of pastor, a calling to
which I had no understanding. Jan and I were rookie church planters traveling
to a new place carrying only a promise from God. .

Recently, I attended
my last service as a pastor connected to a local church staff. On the drive
home the feeling I experienced 36 years earlier came to visit. This time, I was
not going to a defined place. I was walking into an undefined future with three
assignments from the Lord – write, teach and mentor. In both cases, separated
by so many years, I experienced the same strange, yet beautiful, peace.  

In my new
assignment, I have a function, but not a place. My “place” now comes from
invitations or from those daily divine appointments that happen unexpectedly in
my new detached-from-place kind of life. It is a strange feeling to step into a
season of life where place no longer defines me. I am no longer, “Garris
Elkins, Senior Leader of Living Waters Church in Medford, Oregon.”  I am now mobile. My place is wherever promise
takes me. I like my new assignment.

The promise we
carry is actually more significant than a well-defined place. Promise is what
motivates us to uproot our lives and go somewhere new. It helps us stay
spiritually and emotionally alive in the journey and it gives us peace when we
finally arrive and set up a new life in a new place. Promise is everything.

Jan and I have
always tried to make our decisions based on a sense of peace. Peace has guided
our steps for the last 36 years of ministry together. Peace is something we carry
in our hearts. It was never subject to what was taking place around us. Peace
came as the faithful product of the promises we carried.  Without promise, peace would have been
elusive. When we discover a promise from God and let it guard our hearts and direct
our steps, we will always find peace no matter where the journey of life takes us.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

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