Wednesday, August 8, 2012
I have known the promise since I was a little girl. Giving our cares to Jesus brings peace. I understood it in the context of a happy childhood. It sounded nice, and I believed it.
Life has a way of taking lofty ideas and flinging them down to earth. Reality flies in the face of memory verses and doubt elbows its way in. It's possible to shove it down into a dark corner of the heart, but inevitably something will happen that makes it impossible to ignore.
When it happened for me, it quite literally knocked the foundation of all I had so blithely assumed I believed right out from under me. How could a good God allow this? What is the point of praying if God is going to turn a deaf ear to my desperate cry for help? Peace was the farthest thing from my mind. It felt like a storm was raging in my heart.
I'm not sure what I was thinking. Perhaps I thought I would make God feel so bad He would make things the way I wanted them. Whatever it was, I decided to shut Him out. If He wasn't going to answer my prayers, I would just stop praying. So I did.
Nothing changed. I had turned my back and walked away, and He was silent. Days of silence born of disappointment and anger turned to weeks. I wouldn't allow myself to acknowledge it, but He was at work inexorably drawing my heart back. I came to the place of choosing - Him or ..... Or what? What my heart knew finally reached my head - there was no place for me to go apart from Him.
I turned and, dragging my feet, began the journey back (Oh how patient He is.). I released what I had never had any control over into His hands, trusting Him to do what was best. Nothing changed - not outwardly in any case. But as the days slipped by I realized the storm in my heart had calmed. Incredibly, I wondered if there was something wrong with me because I was no longer worried and upset.
He gently whispered, "Peace." Yes, peace. It had come without any effort on my part - a gift wrapped in a promise given long ago.
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."
Philippians 4:6,7 (The Msg)
Linking to Duane's blog today: