It will come as no surprise that since I wrote about peace my life has been anything but peaceful. Seriously, why is that? Whenever I lead a Bible study, I live the lesson. Apparently, my blogging experience is going to be similar.
So, this week….peace did not transcend all understanding at all. There have been emergency visits to dentists which ended with both mother and child in tears. There have been rashes, splinters, stings, and headaches. There has been a broken dishwasher, a twice flooded basement, and countless household tasks piling up around me. There have been unexpected bills (but also some unexpected checks too!) There have been exceedingly difficult parenting situations and extended bedtimes because of bad attitudes. There are looming deadlines, forgotten phone calls and appointments, and college forms needing to be completed ASAP.
I’ve struggled with fear of the future, health issues and extended family concerns. It’s not just that I have a stressful life, it’s that I feel stressed. The phrase “twisted in knots” makes perfect sense to me. But those verses in Philippians say to pray and be thankful and not to be anxious…I’m determined to live this verse. Determined.
In a couple of weeks I will be leading the music for our church’s VBS. One of the songs has the refrain, “Everything is possible with God. Anything is possible with God.” We will sing it over and over and over…and I love it. It’s like preaching the gospel to myself. The more I say it the more I believe it. By the end of the song I’m so hopeful of what God is going to do in our family and in each of our lives that I can’t help but sense His peace in my heart. Maybe I need to record it on my phone and have it ring every 30 seconds.
So this peace thing…the whole guarding our hearts and minds thing…is actually quite simple but also exceedingly beautiful. I was looking for some amazingly complex definition or translation of the word “guard” – alas it is quite what you would think. My Expository Dictionary of Bible Words says “to protect as something precious.” But what my ESV Bible study notes said regarding the peace of God really touched me, “This is the direct answer to the prayer of anxiety. Things that cannot be fully comprehended can nonetheless be peacefully experienced by those who are “in Christ.”” I think that says it all. My heart and my mind are precious to God. He makes sure that my heart is safe and secure and my mind is stable and focused through His peace. That peace is a direct result of knowing who I am and whose I am because of Jesus.
I’m thankful for the reminder that my peace is NOT based on my circumstances. Unfortunately this week I have very much allowed it to be and in the process I have been grumpy, fussy and downright rotten. Isn’t that funny — I’ve become like one of my children when they are disobedient! I probably perpetuaded the lack of peace because I completely forgot that my peace is in Christ not a clean home, a dry basement, healthy & happy children, and a good night’s rest. All those things are lovely, but ultimately the “peace which passes all understanding” will fill me when I trust Jesus with the good and the bad days.
I pray that our good days will outnumber our bad days…and that regardless of the ratio we will find our peace in Christ!