Today I’m pleased to share with you a guest post from one of my very dear friends, Jessica. I trust this will be a blessing to you as it was to me.
Peace. What a lovely word. Take a deeeeeeep breath and just sit there for a moment and imagine what it would feel like to have complete and total peace…not to be in a rush…not to have regrets…to just sit there, and be…. and to be at rest, both physically, and deep in your soul.
I don’t know about you, but much to my shame, my life is not usually categorized by that word. This year, I decided to take a challenge given by Ashley on EmbracingBeauty.com, and come up with a theme word for 2012. My theme word is peace. While it’s still early on in my journey, I’d like to share a small portion of what God has been showing me.
I used to believe that if only I could get caught up on all the housework, and learn to play the piano, and organize all my pictures, and lose weight, and start extreme couponing , and memorize 1000 bible verses, and…and…and…(you fill in the rest of the blanks) and basically all life’s circumstances would cooperate with me and go the way they are SUPPOSED to, I would be at peace. Maybe you’ve thought the same thing. As I’m sure you’ve found out, life just doesn’t work that way. Unexpected company arrives, and always on that day that you’re way behind on housework and decided not to take off your pjs until noon. A slow moving utility truck pulls out in front of you, and of course it’s when you’re running really, really late. A neighbor’s dog gets in the trash and it ends up from one end of your yard to the other…and inevitably when it’s pouring the rain. So should we just forfeit the hope of peace altogether? How can a girl have peace when things don’t go her way?
There is a verse that flashes in my mind multiple times a day that answers this question very simply: Isaiah 26:3. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”
Not, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose house is sparkling clean.” Or “…whose children obey without whining.” or “…who’s got it all together.” No, instead the verse says God will keep me in perfect peace, if I keep my mind on Him because I trust in Him.
Too often I get caught up in worrying about things that won’t matter at all after today, let alone in eternity. I’ve discovered that if my perspective on life’s interruptions has God at the center, then company seeing a pile of dirty clothes or crumbs on the counter doesn’t really matter so much. Perspective makes all the difference.
Today, I challenge you to pay attention to your “peace level.” How do you react when things don’t go your way? Are you constantly uptight? Do your husband and children dread being around you after a long day? Do you believe that if you could just “get it together,” you’d be able to have peace? If so, remember that life will never be predictable. Never. So basing your peace on circumstances will end in a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration.
Instead of falling apart when the unexpected happens, look at those interruptions as from the Lord. Instead of focusing on the fact that you look terrible or your house is a mess when that unexpected company shows up, change your focus to what their needs might be. Maybe the Lord sent them to you today so you could encourage them or even witness to them. Use those extra minutes behind that slow truck to praise the Lord that you have a vehicle to drive and the ability to drive it, and maybe even say a prayer for the driver of the truck in front of you. Make a game of picking up the trash with your kids in the rain, then go puddle-jumping with them. Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% what we make of it. Make a choice today to cast all of your cares on the Lord, “…for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7b).
This quote does a good job at summarizing what a woman of peace looks like:
“A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest, trusting God because she has come to know him to be worthy of her trust. She exudes a sense of calm, a sense of rest, and invites those around her to rest as well. She speaks comfort; she knows that we live a world at war, that we have a vicious enemy, and our journey is through a broken world. But she also knows that because of God all is well, that all will be well…In her presence, we can release the tension and pressure that so often grip our hearts…” from Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge
Lord, starting today, teach me to be this kind of woman.