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I’ve Got Peace like a Rocking Chair

Photo of Katie WKatie W | Bio

Katie W

Katie and her husband are focused on community development and disciple making while living simply among an impoverished and unreached people group in West Africa. Katie is often found sitting on a mat sharing about the Bread of Life while breaking bread with courageous, hard-working, persevering but struggling women. You will also find her teaching nutrition to moms of malnourished children at the local hospital or cooking a big pot of food over the fire to feed begging children. Her own 3 children believe sand is a better playground than grass so you can see them climbing sand dunes together and enjoying a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies at the top. Katie and her family enjoy helping new believers create songs from the Psalms in the local music style and language and study Scripture in such a way even the most illiterate can participate. They continue to pray for a disciple making movement among the people they love.

“Rock-a-chair.” I love how kids rename things. “Rock-a-chair” is my 4 year old’s renaming of our beloved rocking chair.

After bringing up two babies without possessing a rocking chair, I figured I didn’t need one. When one was offered to me with my third baby, I almost turned it down. I love free stuff though, and as one was free and available in our remote location overseas, I brought it home and set it near our bookshelf full of children’s books.

I had no idea it would become the most beloved chair in the house. It has become a favorite not just for my weary body but for my children and even the neighborhood children.

What I love is that my one-year-old has started repeating her older sister. In her cute sing-songy little voice that has barely started saying “Mama,” I hear her singing “Rock-a-chair” as she rocks away in her favorite chair.

What I love even more is that I find her in all her cuteness singing, “Rock-a-chair,” rocking back and forth in a myriad of places.

I’ve found her sitting on top of the half-filled large rice bag in the kitchen singing “Rock-a-chair.” She’s been standing amidst a crowd of sand-covered, noisy neighborhood kids, rocking back and forth singing “Rock-a-chair.” Climbing up the big couch and sitting on the immoveable couch cushion, she calls out, “Rock-a-chair.” As she splashes in her bath, I hear, “Rock-a-chair.”

Then there is my new favorite: snuggled up against my chest and swaying with me, she sings quietly, “Rock-a-chair.” I love all of this so much because my daughter has learned what many of us have forgotten and need so desperately to remember in times like these.

She knows how to lean into whatever circumstance she finds and reach for a rock-a-chair moment.

Our loving Father is waiting for us to bask in his loving care and his deep goodness. Sometimes we just need to picture that great big rocking chair He’s offering us, stop everything, and sit with Him. We need to stop planning, worrying, running non-stop, complaining, etc. and simply be in His presence, be in His joy.

I was recently reading about what Nehemiah would say to his people who were discouraged as they rebuilt Jerusalem. For example, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep” (Nehemiah 8:9). Later he tells them in verse 10, “Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah knew there was a time to grieve. He also knew that sometimes we are called out of the grief to see the joy of the Lord, no matter what we are facing.

I’ve had my share of grief and unattended longings.

There have been moments where I felt so dull and frozen, longing for even an internet connection to reconnect with someone in a language I understood. I experienced PTSD after my daughter barely reached medical care in time to save her little life due to living in a remote location. I’ve felt deep despair as desperate impoverished circumstances are a daily experience among friends and neighbors here.

Friends, no matter how different your “hard” is right now from mine, these moments we are living in are worrying and distressing. Don’t push away your feelings of “hard” because they don’t seem as bad as the person next to you. The grief is real and sometimes we just don’t even know where to turn after we’ve tried everything on the list.

One thing I have seen in all of this is that if I take a moment to lean into the heart of the Father and breathe along with his heartbeat, somehow, little by little, I find strength in the peace only He can give. And in that peace comes great joy.

“What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem” (Psalm 84:4-7, NLT).

Let’s go forward ever praising God, living in His “house,” or His “Rock-a-chair,” no matter what circumstances we face. Let’s go from strength to strength, making even our desert places, our places of weeping, into a place of springs.

Let’s find peace as we sit in our “rock-a-chair” moments, making whatever we are facing into a place of being in the joy of our Father. He alone can continue to strengthen our feeble knees as we walk with Him.