“Be still and know I am God” Psalm 46:10
The weeks leading up to Christmas found me teetering between fear and peace. One of my daughters was awaiting the results of a breast biopsy; my husband was scheduled for surgery to repair a separated shoulder that occurred earlier in the year, and that same week I was supposed to have a bilateral nerve block for chronic lower back pain. As the week progressed, however, I also began experiencing the most excruciating tooth and jaw pain. I went in for an emergency root canal and was sent home on antibiotics unable to eat on one side of my mouth, as there was an infection. Tragedy occupied the headline news.
John 16:33 “I have told you this so that in me you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Thankfully both biopsies came back nonmalignant and my husband came out of surgery with very little pain. My older daughters and in-laws arrived safely I couldn’t be happier as I am with those I love. Despite my back and tooth pain I’m reminded that in my weakness He is strong. My plans for the perfect dreamy Christmas needed to be surrendered. My daughter Courtney said, “you might not always be able to choose your circumstance but you can choose your response.”
Peace allows us to rise above our circumstances to the point that we are able to remain calm despite the trials of life. This enables us see past our current struggles and walk into breakthrough versus breaking down. Our peace is not the absence of storms or trials but found in Jesus and what he has done on the cross to make our future secure.
I love it when God’s words seem to jump off the page as He is speaking directly to me. It’s as if God knew I needed peace this particular morning.
Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Do you desire PERFECT peace? Have you ever wondered what that would look like?
God recently gave me a visual while walking, which happens to be one of my favorite things to do. In essence, walking is sort of like my Prozac when going through difficulties.
This particular morning, the lake by the trail was extremely calm. It was a cool crisp morning and I found myself in awe of the beautiful city skyline reflecting in the lake as well as the various bridge reflections. To capture the moment, I took a few images which brought me so much joy and peace.
I believed God was showing me what “perfect” peace looked like. I sensed Him say “when your heart and mind are fixed on ME and NOT your circumstances you will experience my perfect peace which is like the calmness of the lake today.
Colossians 3:15-17 “15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
I realized that the natural byproduct of walking in peace, during the trials of life, is that we are a reflection of Christ to others. It points to Christ because there can be no other explanation for our lives to be calm during these times. This is what it looks like to live out the gospel and often causes people to wonder.
Below are some suggestions in regards to knowing God the provider of a peaceful life.
-Trust God remembering He is sovereign and has absolute power.
-He is God with complete control and is aware of all things.
-He loves you promising to never leave, forget, abandon, or forsake you.
-Pray for peace.
-Allow thankfulness be your focus.
-Extend grace and forgiveness to others.
-Remember God is wise knowing us better than we know ourselves.
-Plan to have peace. Joy fills the hearts that are planning peace. Proverbs 12:20b
-Set realistic expectations and communicate them clearly. Our husbands, children, co-workers, etc… are not mind readers.¾ Reflect on what makes you feel peaceful. It could be listening to uplifting music, praying, meditating, gazing at the stars, or walking in nature. Once you can identify peaceful moments, include more of those in your daily life.
-Live to please God and stop being a people pleaser.
-Get more rest and relaxation. It helps to schedule time to relax and practice solitude.
-Remember all obstacles are an opportunity for growth.
To abide in peace does not mean rushing all the time.If you find you are always rushing, break that habit. Add more free time to your day. Learn to say no. Keep life simple. Pause to smell the roses or cookies baking in the kitchen.
As moms we set the emotional tone for our family. Knowing God allows you to establish peace within your home making it a safe haven from the storms of life. Will you commit to knowing God so you will know peace?