The Choice

The Choice – Panic Palace or Prayerful Peace?

By: Rev. John Kimmons

Lanier Ellis preached a sermon at Christ Community Church in September 1999 about Nehemiah. The great prophet and wall builder was sensitive both to the needs around him and to the importance of having a wonderful prayer life. At the end of the sermon, there was a holy hush that fell on the congregation.

Our church was challenged with building many walls; the walls of better families, the walls of deeper prayer life, and the walls of strong Christian character. Challenged by the needs of the church and to be a person of prayer, I was encouraged to send my newly graduated daughter, Jennifer, to be a nurse in the rural mountains of Belize. I prayed that I would be filled with contentment and that the holy hush of God would abide in unusual situations. It is often easier to move into panic palace than to peacefully face life’s difficulties.

Like Nehemiah, our church learned to pray with urgency and with a real sense of human helplessness. We were blessed by growing financial support and youth interested in going to missions in order to extend the work of Jesus Christ all over the world. Trials of life do upset us, but we will learn despite our imperfections, that God can bring peace. This peace comes even when His perfect will is less than joyous.

There is a great hymn that says:

Oh Master let me walk with Thee,
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me Thy secret;
Help me bear the strain of toil, the fret of care.

May God give us the ability to serve Him with such contentment that when people see us, they see the holy hush of God instead of the harried rush of America. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father, who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The next time you find yourself proceeding to panic palace, STOP! Proceed to the pasture of prayer, and be content with the task before you.

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