The Cliffs of Peace

Where do you go in times of trouble, of pain, of anxiety, of depression? Where do you turn when the weight of a burden crushes the breath from your lungs, robs you of rest, and causes you to withdraw into yourself because how could anyone possibly understand? Perhaps the “Christianese” thing to say is to go to Jesus, but what does that look like for you? The truth is there is freedom and tangible peace in the presence of Jesus no matter how big the living darkness is that threatens to overwhelm you in challenging seasons of life.  For me, I have learned to meet Jesus at what I have come to call the Cliffs of Peace.

My first experience with this started a year ago after Judy Franklin visited from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. She preached about knowing God – how many people are saved, but so few people know God. She led us in a very simple activation of “going to Heaven” to meet Jesus. Basically:

 

Picture Jesus.

 

Walk up to Him. 

 

What does He do or say to you?

 

Go with Him and see what He shows you.

 

Now, for a skeptic like myself, this really takes trust in the Lord, and though I have struggled at times with thinking, “it’s just me,” I nevertheless always come away with some kind of nugget that resonates with my spirit. When I reflect back, I see that what Jesus says during these experiences comes straight from or references scripture and is in alignment with His character as we see in the gospels. Most importantly, whenever I meet Jesus in this way, I can never deny the peace I experience, quieting of my thoughts, and stilling of roiling emotions no matter how overbearing they were to begin with.

One evening Colin and I had a prayer night with our closest friends, and we decided to quiet ourselves before the Lord before jumping into prayer. Using the tool given by Judy Franklin, I found myself running through a field of sunflowers, and Jesus caught me in an embrace. He beamed at me, His eyes on fire in the most radiant smile of love. In that moment it felt like my heart was breaking under the weight of the love I saw in His face. He grabbed my hand, and we continued running through the flowers until we broke through and came to edge of a gigantic cliff. Mountains rose up in the distance over a beautiful valley. Jesus glanced over, grinned at me, and then ran and jumped off the cliff with arms outstretched. Laughing, I jumped too, and angels caught us up and flew us over the land.

The experience touched me in a deep way (and inspired a poem I’ll share at the end), and that cliff we jumped off of has been a place I have frequented ever since. That cliff, the Cliff of Peace, is my meeting place with Jesus, and every time I encounter His presence, I experience peace. The more I come to know Him, the more I realize what a friend we truly have in Jesus. He is my best friend. When I can’t handle a burden I am carrying, I go there, and He will help me.

Just a week ago, I was struggling mightily with something emotionally. I went to that cliff, and Jesus showed me these black words that were written all over my body. Words like, “alone,” “unloved,” “failure,” etc. There was a fire next to us, and I watched as He stripped those words off of me and threw them into the fire. As I watched them instantly burn up, Jesus touched my arms, my face, my hands and golden words appeared, replacing where the black ones had been. These were words like “beloved,” “beautiful,” “chosen.” Then I looked at Him, and He pointed at the fire and said, “Now walk through it.”

We try so hard to avoid hardship, to avoid walking through the fire, but it’s the fire that purifies and refines us.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:6-7

It is by walking through the fire, rather than avoiding it, that the characteristics Jesus has spoken over me truly become who I am. The best part is He walks through all of it with me, and I am so grateful. He will walk through it all with you too if you will meet Him. Will you take a chance and visit your own cliff of peace?
 
 
Eyes of Fire
 

Fields of flowers mirroring the glory of the sun,

The air is alive in the magic of this place;

Dancing, bounding, leaping, exultant I run,

When I see You, behold all is loss next to the radiance of Your face.

 

Jesus, You look upon me with Eyes of Fire,

Unending depths of love that pierce me through;

You are my heart’s one desire,

You complete me; You heal me, You make me new.

 

You take my hand and we adventure on,

To the edge we come and gaze upon the open sky;

You whisper to me until my fear is gone,

Behold, You say, spread your wings and fly.