Peace In The Valley

Peace In The Valley

It is mid-April and I am still waiting for spring. Officially it is due to arrive on March 21 but that doesn’t mean a thing except that it may come about a month later. If I spent the winters in Florida I would never return to Carolina until May.
There are minor indications in advance, however, and how welcome! The carol of the robin at daybreak this morning, for instance. The first tender green is here and never will it be lovelier. I go down by the lake every day to see if the myrtle warblers, vanguard of those migrating sprites, have come. So far, nothing to report and I don’t blame them for staying South. No use risking laryngitis in this chilly wind from Saskatchewan. I see only the old standbys: cardinals, flickers, mockingbirds. One day for a change a shrike showed up and I spied a little brown creeper busily exploring tree trunks looking for his dinner. Today I heard a vireo, first of the “new” birds of the season. If I can hold out a little longer, spring is bound to win. Old Man Winter is growing feebler and must relax his desperate grasp shortly.
I am waiting for something infinitely more wonderful than springtime. On a hospital bed last winter, early in the morning, low and depressed, I turned on my little radio and heard from somewhere:

When the beasts of the wild
Shall be led by a child,
There’ll be peace in the valley for me.

I am waiting for that blessed day when my Lord shall reign over a redeemed earth and the new age of Kingdom Come shall dawn. I am weary of this world with its sin and shame, its wars and wickedness. I long for that eternal springtime when the winter shall be forever past. Evil will have done its worst and Satan will have flung his last fiery dart. Thank God for the “No More’s”—”no more sea… no more death… no more pain… no more curse… no sorrow… no crying”—”for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:1, 4; 22:3).
I am not alone, for all over this world God’s people long for that day as do they that watch for the morning. Some are old and ill and wait to be clothed upon with immortality. Some are lonely for the sight of dear ones they have loved long since and lost awhile. Some have seen fond dreams fade and fine hopes perish and they anticipate a new start under better conditions. Many simply want to see Him whom, not having seen, they have loved. I am one of a throng in the waiting room of this poor world, getting ready for a change of season. I know that it will come even more surely than now I look for spring to follow winter. I do not mind waiting, for the brief delay will soon be forgotten when the new day dawns. I shall watch while I wait.
Strange that some almost ridicule those who look for our Lord to return. The New Testament church looked for Him and they set a good example. All eyes are skyward nowadays watching man-made satellites. Would to God the church were looking as intently heavenward for her Head! The man who watches usually is ready, lest coming suddenly his Lord find him sleeping. He not only waits and watches, he works, occupying himself until the Master comes.
There is not much peace in the valley of this world today. But the little song I heard on my hospital bed is not wishful thinking. Isaiah was right:

When the beasts of the wild
Shall be led by a child,
There’ll be peace in the valley for me.
-Havner-

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