I’ve got peace like a (raging) river

I love that my kids have learned lots of great songs in Sunday school, such as, “I’ve got peace like a river.” It’s a sweet song that very simply gives kids an idea of what “peace” looks like. I think most of us would imagine a beautifully calm, flowing river that is both deep and wide. That brings me peace just thinking about it.

The problem is that life is never quite that simple. Sometimes life seems more like you’re on a Class VI river (I just looked it up!) where the water is raging and it seems anything but safe. So how do we have peace in those situations? Because try as we may to avoid pain, frustration, and unanticipated, difficult pivots in life, they just sometimes happen. How can we have peace in those situations?


I’ve often thought about Peter when he was in jail with the guards surrounding him (Acts 12:1-7). He must have been completely out. Just think about the fact that there was a bright light in his cell, and he didn’t wake up immediately. The angel had to hit him to get him up. I don’t know about you, but when I’m worried about something, my eyes pop open if someone breaths too hard next to me. I’m anxious and can barely sleep. But Peter had peace. In a jail cell. Between 2 guards with lots more all around him. And oh yeah, he had chains on him too.

How did he do that?

I love that God gives us this picture of peace in the midst of such a turbulent time in Peter’s life, even while he was facing so many unknowns. Yet God’s Word also shares how he screwed up with how he dealt with the Gentiles, only to be admonished by Paul (Gal 2:11-12).

Just a man

He was just a man. No better or worse than all of us. He was broken and messed things up, just like us. But God used him in incredible ways to His glory, and Peter’s ultimate good. He gives me hope.

So I figure if Peter can have peace when his life looked like a Class VI river, I can choose to trust God too in whatever circumstances I find myself in. It doesn’t have to look exactly like Peter’s life did, but it has to have this key element: We need to trust that the LORD knows what He’s doing.


Reminding ourselves as often as we need to helps tremendously. It’s easy to get caught up in all the “what-if’s” and the “holy-cow-I-can’t-do-this” mentality. I know I have, and more often than I care to admit, I still do. But the peace that Peter had, and the peace that is proclaimed in God’s Word is not dependent on our circumstances. It is dependent on our infinitely loving and good creator. Even when we don’t agree with the situation we find ourselves in (i.e. unfair, wrong, not right, etc.) or we don’t understand it (why in the world is this happening???).

This is one of the hardest things to do – walk with peace in our world today. There are so many unknowns. Fear is palpable everywhere we go. Difficulties continue to arise from one thing or another. We can’t predict or control the future. We can try to bubble wrap our children and/or ourselves to keep everyone safe. But unfortunately, when our grip gets too tight on something we refuse to allow the LORD to take care of, we cause so many more problems than if we just let it go and trust Him.

Let go and let God

I write all of this not just for everyone else’s benefit, but for mine as well. Personally, I need lots of reminders!

I pray we can all remember to “let go and let God” a little more quickly (and repeatedly, as needed) next time a tough situation comes into our lives. It’s not that we choose to live a life that reflects resignation. Rather, we live lives that are full of hope and trust in a good God.

I love this quote, which pretty much sums up perfectly what I’m trying to communicate:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Grant me the patience with changes that take time, appreciation of all that I have, tolerance of those with different struggles, and the strength to get up and try again, one day at a time.

Reinhold Niebuhr


©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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