I’ve thought so much lately about what it means to live a life of peace. What does that mean exactly and if the events of my life seem to tumble about from here to there, can I still have peace and live each day really believing what the Bible says about it? Here are some of my reflections, whether they make any sense to you or not….
peace: the state existing during the absence of war, a treaty marking the end of a war, a state of harmony between people or groups; freedom from strife, law and order within a state; absence of violence or other disturbance a breach of the peace, absence of mental anxiety (often in the phrase peace of mind), a state of stillness, silence, or serenity (in a state of harmony or friendship, in a state of serenity
Love these verses ~
I Thessalonians 5:23 ~ May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Samuel 1:17 ~ Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
Romans 15:13 ~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 4:7 ~ And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
John 16:33 ~ I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
I have to say this past month has definitely not been a time of peace, and in some ways, it’s really been a depressing, tough, hopeless period for me. And to be honest, it’s all a state of mind. I know that. I just told Sidney tonight on the way home from volleyball practice, “if you tell yourself you will hit the ball over the net, your serve will follow your thoughts and make it over”. But isn’t it true how much our thoughts dictate our lives? Our actions and words follow suit to whatever is going on in our minds. I was reminded tonight from a conversation with a dear friend that our Heavenly Father is a God of peace. He wants so very much for all of us to live in a state of trust, not listening to the lies of Satan who wants nothing more than to shake us up and make us believe we are worthless, our circumstances will never improve, our emotions rolling and changing with the tides to reflect the self doubt and lack of confidence we feel, not aware of the beauty God desires for all of us to live out every day. I can’t at all say the circumstances that have come to define my life from the world’s perspective are anything that would fit the description of beautiful and successful, yet I know that only by the grace of God, my life does have beauty, that I am a success. And it’s very simply because in the midst of difficult situations, I’ve figured out how to live in a state of peace where I am trusting the only One who can get me from one day to the next in that state of acceptance and submission. Cause I sure can’t do it myself. Not that I do it well every day, this living in acceptance and submission thing, because these last few weeks certainly reflect my insecurities and failed attempts at having it all together. And I guess really it’s not my job to have it all together and know what to do to get from one moment to the next in one piece. I only know that God’s Word is true and alive today and when He says He is the God of peace, I’ve lived it to know it’s true. He can be trusted with every detail of my life including the health of my son and my frustrations about my work schedule and the day to day issues with my kids and figuring out how to do Christmas and taking care of my marriage and changing my thought process and keeping this house in order and thinking about everything on my to do list tomorrow. I may not do it in beauty from one step to the next every day, but I do live a beautiful life when it is lived out with the peace of God guarding my heart. I was reminded tonight of the events of our lives that took place in April 2008. Man was that a tough time for us. Travis had just come out of the horrific events of January 4th and the emotional court case which followed in March. Then he had some really tough situations at work and it was shortly after that he humbly told me God was calling him to quit his job. I was working very part time with four little ones at home, and we were in and out of the hospital with Ryan trying to juggle his diagnoses that kept coming at us from all sides with all his medical instability and the emotions of raising a severely handicapped child. Yet in the midst of trying to not fall apart otherwise, God called Travis to “quit and don’t look back”. How does that make sense? Quit the only stable job we have with nothing else lined up? Trust God to pay for groceries, medical bills, electricity, gas, clothes, the mortgage? Quit the career Travis had loved and poured his life into for the past 11 years and was his dream since 7th grade? I look back at that time as the tears well up in my eyes because my husband trusted God to provide and knew he had to obey even when it didn’t make any sense. And obey he did. He quit his job with the police department and we waited for God to move and let us know what we were suppose to do next. Sakes alive was that tough. As difficult as that time was we both had such peace because we knew God would never call us to do something if he was not planning to provide for every one of our needs. And our needs were met every single day. We kept food on the table, all our bills were paid on time, we didn’t go without. The support from those around us was absolutely amazing. I look back at that time and can still feel the searing pain shoot through my heart because I vividly remember how difficult it was to trust not only my husband but also my heavenly father. We’ve certainly faced our share of difficulties over the years, but I can always think of someone who has it worse than I do, who is struggling so much more in their day to day ability to cope with life or to pay their bills or to keep their marriage together. It’s not a competition of who has it worse (or better) than the next person, but through it all, I’ve learned to quit trying to figure things out because no matter how hard I try, I can’t make the details of my life fit into a straight line. Instead I try very hard to go with the flow and remember that there is a purpose to every detail of my life. That the God who causes the sun to rise and set every day with prediction will certainly provide the peace and rest I need to get through whatever tomorrow brings. He will do the same for you.