Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Finding Peace.... When Your Life is in Pieces

I always stop and take notice of a message that comes to me in multiple ways in a concentrated period of time...

In the past 24 hours, I have intersected with the idea of inner peace in 3 separate circumstances.

Inner peace has been a bit elusive in my mind and heart the past 6 months.

I can find it, if I am mindful and intentional, but, a heavy shroud of doubt, fear or shame always lingers and threatens to swallow up my precious peace.

I learned years ago,  that abiding peace is far more valuable than fleeting happiness.

When I am restless, or drowning in any type of darkness, Peace is promised, if I but SEEK it out from the right source.

I have learned by trials and life circumstances that true and lasting peace can only come from the Prince of Peace - Jesus.

I have known different types of disappointment and despair in my 37 years, but nothing quite bitter has threatened to steal my peace and Joy as has the most recent heartbreak I have had to endure and overcome.

But, because of the Lords great mercy, I have the blessing of KNOWING He can meet me in my darkness and give me peace, because He has shown me over and over again in my life that he fulfills His promises in the scriptures.  He is trustworthy, if I choose to put my trust in Him.

It is currently a DAILY choice.  Turn to Him, Seek His peace.  Find contentment and Joy in and through Him.  Not on my circumstances, not in what others do or don't do...

It is tempting to think Happiness and Peace is something you can find in your circumstances or something that you can get from someone or something,....(If only this would happen, if only they would do this, if only I could achieve that...then, I would know peace and happiness) .  Truly, unless we are seeking from the right source, we will never experience the FULLNESS of peace and joy - but only a shadow, leaving us continually aching, searching and just a little empty.

 In my restlessness and despair recently, I cried out to God to be restored in his peace while out for a walk with my dog.

I was reminded of the antidote for despair that I embraced years ago in another season of deep ache and need of restoration -


We cannot feel two feelings and attitudes at once.  If I turn my thoughts to what I am grateful for - even simply for one thing in that one single moment - I open my heart and mind to be tuned to the abundant Life He has promised me.

Remembering how my mind and heart shift in times of Gratitude, the Holy Spirit brought Philippians 4:6-7 to mind...

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God....

When I went to look up the rest of the verse, I was then met with another gift - the promise of PEACE.

...Turn all your worries into prayers - acknowledge your gratitude to God, tell him what you need and HIS PEACE will GUARD your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.


How amazing to think of Peace in that way....the peace of God will GUARD -

Makes me think of a shield.  Blocking off attacks of the enemy.

Pursuing peace in my own life can be a lighthouse of hope as well.

When others observe that I can find peace even in the midst of a raging storm of confusion, emotion and fear, it is a witness and a testimony that true and lasting peace can is available to them through a life in Christ.

Allison Fallon, (a writer that has also recently helped to process my own present pain by so artfully and authentically sharing her own journey  -)  put a great perspective on peace that same day:

"The point is not to get "settled" in your life, 
but to get settled in your heart
—so no matter what happens, 
peace can't be taken from you."

Then, this morning, the daily devotional I get emailed to me also centered around the pursuit of deeply settled peace...

"In me... peace (John 16:33).
There is a vast difference between happiness and blessedness. Paul had imprisonments and pains, sacrifice and suffering up to the very limit; but in the midst of it all, he was blessed. All the beatitudes came into his heart and life in the midst of those very conditions.
Paganini, the great violinist, came out before his audience one day and made the discovery just as they ended their applause that there was something wrong with his violin. He looked at it a second and then saw that it was not his famous and valuable one. He felt paralyzed for a moment, then turned to his audience and told them there had been some mistake and he did not have his own violin. He stepped back behind the curtain thinking that it was still where he had left it, but discovered that some one had stolen his and left that old second-hand one in its place.
He remained back of the curtain a moment, then came out before his audience and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen: I will show you that the music is not in the instrument, but in the soul." And he played as he had never played before; and out of that second-hand instrument, the music poured forth until the audience was enraptured with enthusiasm and the applause almost lifted the ceiling of the building, because the man had revealed to them that music was not in the machine but in his own soul.
It is your mission, tested and tried one, to walk out on the stage of this world and reveal to all earth and Heaven that the music is not in conditions, not in the things, not in externals, but the music of life is in your own soul.

If peace be in the heart,
The wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty,
The midnight flash but shows the path of duty,
Each living creature tells some new and joyous story,
The very trees and stones all catch a ray of glory,
If peace be in the heart.

--Charles Francis Richardson

May you also come to know and continue to choose to seek true and lasting Peace from the right source...


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