The Lord gave them peace on every side,
just as He had promised...
~ Joshua 21:44a NLV
As I awoke this morning, I turned my first thoughts to God and began to pray. I gave praise for His great mercies and thanks for His faithfulness. I spoke to Him about many of my troubling thoughts that had plagued me the last few days and my desire for some relief. I sought forgiveness for where I erred and new strength and His wisdom for this new day. I soon felt ready to get up and start a new day...
Yet, it seemed before I even had my feet touching the floor, I allowed several unsettling thoughts to gather strength and overrule my search for God’s peace. It’s been this way with me for several day now...
As I sat with my devotional before me and my Bible verses ready to be read...I sipped my first taste of morning coffee and read this devotional thought;
“In comparison with this big world, the human heart is only a small thing. Though the world is so large, it is utterly unable to satisfy this tiny heart. Our ever growing soul and its capacities can be satisfied only in the infinite God. As water is restless until it reaches its level, so the soul has no peace until it rest in God.” ~ Sadhd Sundar Singh
As I sipped my coffee I paused and agreed with the words I just read. I then too quickly exchanged these God centered words for my earlier troubling thoughts. Feeling a bit overwhelmed so early in the day...I took another sip of coffee and did a quick prayer asking God to please just “zap me” with His peace over my thoughts...please...”
Taking an even bigger swallow from my cup of coffee...I sighed and continued reading from a different devotional writer;
I sat my coffee cup down...
God had my attention! I had just read two separate messages... but they both have the same message about God's peace! So,instead of just pausing on what I had read, I pondered it...and then after a time, I took my journal and wrote down what I feel God wanted me to know.
I’d like to share these journal thoughts with you. I wrote;
“This morning I have been given several reminders of God’s peace. It is perhaps my greatest need in every day. His peace is what removes my feelings of insecurity and doubts. It calms my fears and relieves my frustrations. It renews my hope and gives full life to my joy...
How do I find God’s peace? Where does it fall so that I may stand under it and let it anoint my spirit when disappointments come at me like rain? Where can I go to swim in it when so many “sudden” undesired disruptions to the good plans I have made for the day having me drowning in distress?
I need God’s peace for these things...and...Oh, I so need His peace to cover my own procrastinations that cause me great turmoil inside my spirit.
Lord I plead for Your peace!
As I sit here, pen in hand quietly tired from my thoughts and questions...I’m finally quiet and still. And in the stillness of an early morning with God...I receive a loving answer.
God has not failed me or hidden His peace from me. No, when peace seems to have dried up inside of me... it is I who has chosen to reject the replenishing drink of God’s peace.
When I set my thoughts on the life’s great battles, instead of placing them on the mightiness of God’s ability to overcome them...
I leave myself open to the storms of life’s raging waves that knock me into deep waters of despair. Once I get my thoughts fixed on the troubles of the day...I may cry out for God to save me...but my eyes are not on God...instead they become fixed on a piece of worldly driftwood floating nearby. I grab for my peace and contentment from it bobbing form... feeling a momentary security.
In grabbing a temporary solution...I have placed my trust in something my eyes can see but is weak and unable to sustain peace. I have rejected reaching out with eyes of faith and taking hold of God’s Hand trusting that God’s mighty arm is never too short to reach me wherever I am."
Feeling newly washed over in God's replenishing peace, I finished my journal entry with this...
My eyes have been searching for a quick and refreshing pool of relief but instead of listening to Your voice...I allowed my eyes to be distracted by the mirage of earthy solutions I see in front of me. As I pursued the mirages...they draw me further off Your path for my life. Oh Lord, how they tempted me with this world’s ideas of satisfying peace...
I have been thirsty for peace. Sooo thirsty Lord...but drinking sand.
This morning when I chose to dwell in the desert of defeat I heard your strong yet loving voice shake me from my distressful thoughts;
“That’s enough! Now know that I am God!”
Psalms 44:10 NLV
And I turned my eyes up and saw You! You met me with outstretched arms full of compassion...full of peace...reaching out for me!
Remind me often Jesus...remind me each moment...print it on my heart...there is nothing on this earth that has power over You. Your peace is stronger than any troubles this world brings.
Jesus..you have overcome this world...and that truth gives me a replenishing peace..."