Patricia Hofer

The calm of living with the Lord.

Larger than any span of time, Stronger far than bone and sinew, Calmer than nature’s ebbing flow, Is the God-Love that breathes in you. (Living Calm 2016)

Any calm in nature is usually deceiving. We have the calm before the storm and the calm after the storm but always and ever, the storm. Similarly, an ebbing tide could appear more peaceful, but that’s really only because the tide is pulling away from us, receding instead of pushing toward us.

This word ebbing is also sometimes used to describe the wasting away or weakening of our physical existence. Sooner or later, each of us encounters the frail and temporary nature of our brains and bodies. And, like the tide, when our stamina and wellness start to recede, they appear to be diminishing.

When this started happening to me, I was tempted—and probably everyone is—to hold desperately to my evolutionary wisp of life, as fleeting and insubstantial as I knew it was. Some days I would frantically follow every health suggestion that appeared valid and do-able. Other days I’d start racing around, hoping to make every moment count. And then, too, there were the times I just wanted to stick my head in the sand, hoping to ignore what lay ahead.

After decades of struggle and striving with lack and illness, I finally just gave up. And at that moment, as amazing as it still is to me, the Lord was there, lifting me up and filling me with light and joy. And that’s remained true ever since. His inspiration and healing calm happens when I quit trying, when I yield.

So, although I do make a few other points again and again in my writing, the purpose and power behind everything I write is this peaceful surety that comes with self-abandonment. Christ is stronger than “bone and sinew.” Christ is “larger than any span of time.” When we yield, when we abandon our own self-effort, we’ll discover the calm of living with the Lord in eternity.

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