The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Bubble

Years ago, I heard a story about a King in search of peace. He sent word throughout the land asking the scholars, poets and artist to describe peace. Some had beautiful stories, some had beautiful paintings and there were some with poetry, but still he did not see peace in any of these descriptions. This went on for awhile until he saw one artist’s painting that intrigued him. This was a painting of a terrible thunderstorm with lightning flashing and pouring rain. However, he noticed there was a mother bird in a cleft of the rock on the side of the mountain. Under the mother’s wing was a tiny bird safe and secure. He said, “This is it. This is the most realistic depiction of peace.”

“Peace” is about perspective.

Are you the mother bird, or the baby bird?

If you are searching for peace that is absent of conflict and struggles, then “Good luck!” because it doesn’t exist. You can try, but you will find yourself in avoidance and denial because, “In this world, we will have troubles.” So how are we to find peace with so much turmoil and confusion all around us? The employment rate is down, the stock market keeps falling, divorce is on the rise, struggles at work, heart ripping stories are everywhere, struggles in marriage and other relationships …you can fill in your hurts here ____________________________.

“Peace” is not just the absence of conflict.

Are you living through troubled times?

Last week, a lady asked me to describe peace. What did peace look like to me? I really struggled with the answer because at the time I didn’t know. All I knew was I wanted peace and the only way I could describe peace was by looking back 6-weeks ago when I was dead. For 20-minutes, my heart stopped beating. To me that was peace. No more struggles, decisions, fears or responsibilities. At the time, I could not see how I could have peace in this world full of uncertainties and problems. But, God promises peace, a peace that “surpasses all understanding.”

Maybe it’s just me? But I still struggled to see a picture of peace in a world full of turmoil. Then in one of those God-moments, He gave me an incredible (yet simple view) of the bubble. The bubble?

“Peace” is about proximity to God.

Are you in the bubble or outside of the bubble?

Suppose you were able to live in an impenetrable sphere of some sort and had total and complete safety. No one could force their way into this sphere no matter how hard they tried. Bullets, bombs, even atomic bombs, tornadoes, hurricanes, cold, heat or any other forces of man or nature couldn’t even begin to penetrate this sphere. Would you feel safe? Would you finally find peace? Probably not. We were created to be in relationship with others and an impenetrable sphere would merely be a prison for one. You see, while nothing can get in, nothing can get out either.

Then God explained to me (in my finite understanding) a picture of peace from within “The Bubble.” As long as I trust Him and hold tightly to His promise, I am protected in His bubble of peace. “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.” We have to take the first step to move close to God. This bubble doesn’t exist outside of you, but around your heart. He does not guarantee that pain will not come. But, He said, “I am in this with you and give you the “grace and power” to handle whatever comes your way.” Aha! I got it.

That’s what makes peace so incomprehensible, so indescribable. Peace is not the absence of war. The opposite if peace is slavery. Are you a slave to all the garbage outside of the circle as we are so often taught, but the experience of being close to God in the circle even when life is a raging storm. It’s the settled heart of the baby bird under the protective wing of the momma bird. Are you in the bubble?

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