[Peace: don’t worry about anything]
Sometimes you have to fight for that peace. (I know, I know, that sounds so wrong.) Peace and fight don’t feel right in the same sentence do they? Yet, many wars have been fought in order to secure peace. However, this fight that I’m speaking of is temporary; it’s the push needed to resolve the conflict. Peace doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes we have to work for it, enduring tears, heartache, pain, and even suffering. However, we have this hope through our trials that our faith in God will keep us in perfect peace.
“You [God] will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” –Isaiah 26:3
According to Dictionary.com, steadfast literally means fixed in place, but it’s chiefly used figuratively to describe a loyal support that will endure strain. Therefore, those who fix their minds on the truth of God will win that battle as they learn to trust Him.
In my own battle for peace I’ve turned to every trusted and promising source–calling on God as my top ally, as well as my hubby, and those I have close fellowship with. Last, but not least I’ve turned to the serenity of nature. I’ve been cooped up, and I need to stretch my wings! When my peace is threatened God reminds me that He’s already won the battle, so I can rest secure in that promise. My job then is to simply be still (to be calm and cease any frantic activity), being aware of who God is and what this means for my life. It’s in this hope that I can regain my strength and hold steady through all of life’s trials.
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” –Psalm 46:10
In our neck of the woods we have all sorts of parks and gardens to visit, most of which we haven’t had the opportunity to visit, but having some time on our hands, and that need for peace, I want to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Years back we did find an urban forest in the middle of the city, so we decided we’d visit it once again. It’s an escape in the middle of the hustle and bustle of busy city life. You truly do feel like you’re away from it all as you sit beside the pond, and the ducks come swimming or waddling by.
Obviously, these fine feathered friends are quite accustomed to people, having likely been fed by those who frequent the park. I had one pretty little red-winged blackbird swoop down close to me, look up at me from beside the bench where she landed, and give me sideways glances, as birds do. Surely she was expecting me to toss something her way, but we had nothing to offer her. I captured a few pictures and a video, and then she was off again to land among the bulrushes that stood in the middle of the pond. Red-winged blackbirds build their nests low among upright reeds, or trees– typically close to the water.
Sitting next to my main squeeze, and watching the ducks swim lazily by was indeed very peaceful. It was a perfect reprieve from the rollercoaster ride I’ve experienced, and all that’s been on my mind lately. It’s difficult to leave a place like that. Fortunately, we don’t have to go very far to find a little piece of heaven.
God Himself is much like our urban forest: an oasis in the middle of all the chaos–that is, if we’ll seek Him. When anxiety and depression threaten defeat it’s time to fight back. Though we can physically feel like we don’t have the strength, God’s strength can pull us through if we accept those life lines that He tosses our way. This can take some very conscious and deliberate effort on our part.
In Scripture were told not to be anxious about anything, but in truth, I don’t always heed these words perfectly. In my impatience I’ve wanted things to move along pronto, and God has made it clear that some things require time. If I want to get back to a place of peace and joy then, I have to accept that God has the lead. That battle shouldn’t be between man and God but often this is the case. When I don’t lay my burdens down and leave them there I’m not trusting God to work it all out. That tug-o-war begins, and it doesn’t end until I let go of the thing that I’m not trusting Him with. I’m not hopeless, though I may act like it sometimes, but only because God still has my hand.
Like that pretty little bird found her refuge amidst the bulrushes, I too want to find my refuge where it’s safe and what surrounds me is upright. I want to build low–close to the water, where I can constantly receive that refreshment. I’m reminded, that in Jesus I’ll find that peace, and that God always has me covered in the shadow of His wing.
“Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7
Next—>When I Rise – Part 1
If you’re interested in reading more from this series, all entries can be found here:
And the first entry can be found here: