There is a place
of quiet rest
Here in January 2022 - a place of quiet rest outside may be hard to find.
This may be especially true, if you live in the northern hemisphere of our planet. Even more illusive may be an internal place of quiet rest. We live in a chaotic, anxious age, where we find it difficult to hold fast to inner peace and calm.
Yet that peace is near to us and is located, according Cleland Boyd McAfee, near to the heart of God. Cleland was a Presbyterian minister and professor of philosophy. His father founded Park College in Missouri. Cleland wrote the song, "Near to the Heart of God," after the concurrent deaths of two of his young nieces, caused by diphtheria. In 1901, diphtheria patients were routinely treated with antitoxin derived from the blood serum of horses. After 13 children died of tetanus because of contaminated antitoxin, Congress passed the 1902 Biologics Control Act, giving the government its first regulation of vaccine and antitoxin production.
Cleveland does not locate the place of peace in either our minds or the mind of God. Its location is near to our hearts and near to God's heart. Peace in the very place that hurts the most? Peace in our anxious, aching, yearning, broken hearts?
We generally find our sense of well being, peace and happiness contingent on events and conditions external to us, and often these are out of our control. Cleland discovered something in the devastating loss of his two young nieces. A father, himself, he stumbled onto a peace that doesn't make sense to the mind, which wants to have answers and reasons. Cleland's peace beyond understanding met him in what he called a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God.
You've been there yourself. This issue of Holy Ground examines this wondrous place and considers how we might spend more time there.
Holy Ground - Living Near to the Heart of God.