Message in a Bottle

As a lifetime beachcomber, I’ve always dreamed of finding a bottle with a message tucked inside. My treasures are usually colorful bits of beach glass and tiny shells. Yet the continuous tidal action makes the beach a fresh possibility each day. 

As I explored few weeks ago, something bright pink was sticking out of a mound of tangled kelp.

Hot pink duct tape sealed a clear, glass bottle—and there was a message inside! Water had seeped in but the indelible ink clearly showed letters—in a language I couldn’t read.

Carefully extracting five wet strips of paper, I wondered what they all meant. Someone had written one line on each strip. Thanks to Google translator, I quickly discovered the messages were all the same, “Peace in the heart and soul”—written in Swahili, Malay, Finnish, Yiddish, and Slovak.

Ships from all over the world pass through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Did a sailor pitch the bottle overboard? Did it wash in from the Pacific? And why the same message in five languages? Maybe it’s because peace seems so elusive no matter where you live in this weary world.

There are times I struggle having inner peace. I sometimes become overly anxious with life's complications. Perhaps that’s why this bottle had washed up for me to find. “Peace in the heart and soul.” But how is this kind of peace possible while I have friends dealing with the death of loved ones, and another coping with her husband's devastating illness, and while I'm worried about our nation's "fiscal cliff" and what that means for the future?

Only God can give me peace in my heart and soul—especially for those times when life isn’t peaceful. God places His peace inside me. I just need to remember I have it. Peace doesn't immediately change the situation; peace just gives me hope to help me cope. There was a bumper sticker that said it quite simply:  

No God, no peace
Know God, know peace

That would make a terrific message in a bottle.   

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