Meet Me at the Peach
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9)."
Jody and I attended college in the early 80’s. I attended a small liberal arts college in Alabama, the University of Montevallo, and Jody attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. We were young, in love and almost 2,000 miles apart. This was long before cell phones, texting or even e-mail. We wrote hundreds of letters to each other, and Jody would bring stacks of quarters to the payphone in the basement of his barracks so that we could talk to each other every night 😊. Life was not convenient, but love was grand. Going to college during the Cold War led to us having a few concerns about being so far apart from each other. This was a scary time in our history – the majority of Americans considered the threat of nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union to be serious. In the early years of the Cold War, many people actually built bomb shelters on their property. Later, and with more knowledge, still more people began to ask if a nuclear war was something they would want to survive. Scary times.
In these times, many movies were made about the after effects of nuclear fall-out. These movies were gruesome by 1980’s standards, but by today’s Zombie Apocalypse standard, these 1980’s movies would today be rated, “G.” But I digress. The one movie that effected Jody and I the most was televised nationally by ABC: The Day After (1983). There was weeks of hype before the movie was released. College students across the country gathered in the common areas of their dormitories to watch. This movie scared us all with details about the potential threat. We came to understand the basics. At the very least, the US would be knocked back to a non-technological society. We acknowledged that we would no longer have telephone or mail service – the only two methods of communication at the time. Jody and I couldn’t bear the thought of being separated with no way to communicate. We needed a plan. Jody and I talked at great length about what we would do if the Russians dropped a nuclear bomb on our country and decided that if this disaster ever occurred, we would need a rally point to meet in the aftermath.
In 1981, just a few years before the release of The Day After, the town of Gaffney, SC erected a peach-shaped water tower close to interstate 85. Our parents lived at two points along I-85 – my parents in Alabama; Jody’s parents in North Carolina. Jody and I used this long and boring 55 mph interstate for each of our holiday commutes between our families, but it wasn’t until 1983, and just after the release of The Day After that we first took notice of the peach. Well, actually before it was in view, Jody saw a sign saying, “Exit here to view the peach.” He leaned toward me and asked, “Susan, would you like to view the peach?” I was half asleep and misunderstood him – I thought he had said, “beach,” not “peach.” So, I sat straight up and shouted, “Yes!” I was then, and am today always ready for the beach 😊! When the peach finally came into view, we both died laughing. Jody teased me about misunderstanding him and about my disappointment at seeing a “giant peach-colored behind” way up in the air! We joked about the beach-peach, but soon decided that it would become our rally point. Considering the size of this thing, we were sure it would survive nuclear holocaust!
Because he was going to school in NY, Jody would have twice the distance to cover to get to SC, but he could walk faster and would be more able to handle the journey as he was an experienced hiker (https://wordwashedwife.com/blog/2017/5/30/sin-is-crouching). I don’t have a great sense of direction, but we reviewed on multiple occasions how I would get to Gaffney on a single tank of gas and my two feet. We knew we would not be able to communicate with each other during the journey to the peach, but we trusted each other. If the dreaded nuclear disaster happened, Jody and I would, as soon as it was safe, find a way to the peach and to each other. We would make it to our rally point. No matter what, we would stick to the plan! I had no doubts in my heart, and neither did Jody – our love would see us through! After our plan was made, we relaxed and carried on with college life. Sounds like the making of a good Hallmark movie, huh? Keep reading … I am going somewhere with this.
Now I know this story sounds a little silly and very sappy ☺️, but this is the best way I know how to explain how as Christians we can live through the “dry periods” in your spiritual walk. We have all faced times when we doubted that God was listening. If we are truthful, we can all say that we have had the feeling that sometimes our prayers just bounce off the ceiling. This is human nature – our sin nature. However, this is merely our perspective from our limited vantage point. I’m thankful that God has the ability to look at our lives in a multi-directional way! His vantage point, as He views us from the cross, is the only reality. God promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Let’s take Him at His word. God is always there, always listening! We just need to carry on with the plan, His plan!
Jody and I considered that during our trek to the peach we would not know where the other one was or how the trip would unfold when we arrived. We would be lonely. We also understood that we would not be able to rely on our own momentary perspective, and let our emotions rule, but we would have to trust in the plan. We had faith in each other and we would have to literally walk that faith out. Now, Jody and I are just a couple of simple humans and we trusted each other, how much more can you trust God. You can take God’s word to the bank, so to speak 😊! Do not look at your situation and question what God is or is not doing. Do not assume that He has left you all alone. Even Job, who is noted for being faithful and patient during his incredible trials, said, “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer, I stand up, but you merely look at me (Job 30:20).” But praise God that we know the end of Job’s story. God was faithful and did not forsake Job. God worked out a plan that Job could not see. Job’s faith was tested, but Job was found to be faithful and his prayers pleasing to God’s ears (Job 42: 9-12)! May that be said of our prayers too!
I am not trying to minimize Job’s pain, or yours, because I have not experienced it for myself. The best I can do is to finish “walking the dog” with my story of 1983. Keep reading, friend, as I attempt to bring this post home.
Many times I have imagined how hard my travel to that rally point could have been. It would have taken weeks before I could set out after the disaster. Then I would have driven my little Nissan as far as it could take me before finishing the journey by foot. I would have had little or no food or water, would have seen unimaginable destruction and would have seen all manner of human pain along the way, all the while despairing that life as I knew it was over. Nevertheless, I would have clung to Jesus with every step along the way to South Carolina! And, I would have waited there indefinitely for Jody. I would have done this because I trusted in the plan, and in the one with whom I made the plan!
Brothers and sisters, God has the better plan! He is trustworthy. He has proven Himself time and time again (Deuteronomy 7:9). God created you in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalms 139:13) and He has plans for your bright future (Jeremiah 29:11). Do not listen to the voice of doubt during your times of disaster. Tell the doubt to be still. Trust in the knowledge that God is a good parent (1 John 3:1) and cares for you (James 1:17)! I know the journey will be tough, but don’t lose heart (John 14:1)! Cling to the confidence that God is with you (Isaiah 41:10), listening to you (Psalms 34:6), loving you (John 15:9-17), and working things out for your good (Romans 8:28). Nothing can separate us from God and His love (Romans 8:38-39)!
Prayer is not something we do in vain! It is the way we communicate with our Heavenly Father. I know He hears us when we pray (1 John 5:14-15)!
I look forward to seeing what our faithful God will work in the lives of our husbands as we commit to praying for them in the month of June. I encourage you not to look at your circumstances, but instead faithfully return, on your knees and in prayer, to your rally point with God! Allow God to cleanse your heart with His word, and allow His spirit to bubble up and over you as you pray according His will for your husband! Keep reading, friends!
“Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).”