I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13
Look to Him to find peace.
This too shall pass.
Run to the Father, again and again.
Surrender anything to God and He will give you peace.
Get in the Word, daily, and it will have the answers that you need.
Just pray about it.
What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
These were the common phrases I heard throughout my entire childhood. They were meant to answer my tough questions, maybe because the people I was directing the questions to did not know the answers. Or maybe because they knew the truth and understood that I had to discover it for myself.
We need Him, whether we know it or not.
I still have people who do not recognize me from the childhood version I once was. They stare in awe and wonder, attempting to try to figure out what happened to me. I was a tormented person, messed up by emotional, sexual, and mental abuse. I rebelled against the world because either people didn’t want to see what had happened to me or they were just in denial.
My family took my behaviors personally and at times treated me, from my viewpoint, ugly. I would often hear those above statements, in reference to hoping I would change when I discovered God for myself. They didn’t know what to do with me or how to respond.
When you don’t know what to do, move out of the way!
God has a plan. His plan is perfect for our lives, from start to finish. We get in our way. Others get in His way. If things do not seem as though they are going well, it is probably because you are in the way or allowing someone else to be in His way. More often then not, this was my problem.
For many years, I looked to other things to take away my hurt. When drinking wasn’t enough, I allowed things to happen to me because I felt I deserved it. When that didn’t work, I tried witchcraft and living the hippy-dippy-love-joy-peace-flower-power-child life. None of it worked. Peace did not come from any of those substitutes.
There is only ONE way to find peace.
I have chased and chased and chased after things that I thought would give me peace. I was running in the wrong direction. When I discovered that the peace began to grow in me.
Having lost hope on all of the other things I tried, I broke down asking for help. I knew who He was and believed that He did exist but did not have a relationship with Him. Much like Peter and Andrew, I experienced the call to follow after him and leave everything and everyone behind. Being a fisher of men (women) never felt like a big task to me. Simple, in fact. Compared to every other version of “peace” I had reached for, this just came naturally.
Like inhaling fresh mountain air after a morning rain shower, was His peace.
Choosing to do things His way, moving out of my own, peace came quickly. As peace became the compass, I began to recognize the difference between His way and the way of the world.
With each new day of morning devotionals, my prayers developed and knowledge of who He is to me and others, grew. The closer I got to God, the less negative my responses were and the more loving I became. Peace has been my compass, pointing me straight to Him.
Ironically, every life event that occurs has the possibility to cause anyone to break but they have caused me to grow stronger. Anytime I am walking through something now, I think about how great it will feel to look back on it and discover the characteristics that were created out of that, lessons learned, and how the experience will help me through the next thing.
We are constantly in process, progressing towards are finish line. People can see the obstacles as something that is tearing them down, run from it, or make unhealthy choices that lead to dangerous consequences. Those that have the hope in the Lord see the same obstacles as a way to refine the rough edges we still need to smooth out in ourselves.
Refining is a tough course, yes, and the most precious and beautiful things come from it.
I have peace.
It is used all day, everyday. When things feel overwhelming and I feel like I am struggling, I get my compass out and get back on track. Peace has been my guide, giving me direction back to the Father, again and again. Stuff will continue to come up and I just pray about it, surrendering my way to His.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of conducting two great things: giving the benediction for my sister’s funeral so that those attending will hear about Jesus and then marrying my niece to her long time boyfriend. Beautiful events that just needed peace from the circumstance that brought us together.
They got to see Jesus through my example, my other sister’s example, and the words we shared. We prayed for peace ahead of time and God got the glory. He was able to be seen through our eyes, during a moment that could have been filled with misery, there was joy and peace. Those that were closest to us, prayed for and over us, throughout the entire service. And when I felt as though the attendee’s grief was creeping in, I prayed in tongues and pulled out my compass of peace.
This did not kill me, making me stronger for the next attack of the enemy. This too shall pass because His mercies are new every morning and there is joy every morning. I will run to the Father, again and again.
Thank you, Father, for the peace that passes all understanding. You bring peace in the darkest of situations. Your Son, the Prince of Peace, made a way for us to receive His peace and I will share that message anywhere you call me. Like Peter and Andrew, I leave everything else behind to follow after You, to share Your news even to the grieving.
Flower Power has NOTHING on You!