I pulled into the parking lot at work this morning and thought to myself, “How did I get here?” My head was pounding from a sinus headache and my body evidently switched into autopilot to transport me from point A to point B. The office is very quiet – on Wednesdays I’m usually the only one here – and so the whir of the heating system and the quiet clicking of the keys on my keyboard were the only sounds I heard for a while. Even though my head was still hurting, the quietness was welcome and gave me peace.
God reminded me yesterday that fretting over the future or letting fear creep in robs me of the peace He has for me. Jesus told people many times not to be afraid or troubled. Time after time he said, “peace be with you” or “go in peace”. One of my favorite chapters in the gospel of John is chapter 14, in which Jesus tells the disciples that he will soon be leaving them, but that He will come back and in the meantime the Holy Spirit will be given to them to guide them, remind them of all Jesus taught them, and live in them. He said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (v. 27) I so often forget the wonder of this gift, of God’s Spirit with me and in me always.
I was reading Psalm 37 today and was moved by these words:
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. (Everything)
Trust him, and he will help you. (Not He might help you…He will)
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act… (I’m trying, Lord!)
Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent,
and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
They will not be disgraced in hard times;
even in famine they will have more than enough… (Forgive me, Father, for worrying)
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives. (Too wonderful to imagine)
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread…
Put your hope in the Lord.
Travel steadily along his path.”
My youngest daughter has been known as the “peewee” in our family for a long time. We finally quit calling her that a year or so ago when she insisted she had outgrown that nickname but she will always be “peewee” to me. She is feisty, strong-willed, funny, and has more energy than a classroom full of kindergarteners pumped up on pixie sticks. Her dad and I bonk heads with her frequently, especially during these teenage years, but the peewee is still down inside this emotional, dramatic girl and from time to time I see the real girl again. It seems after a particularly trying evening together or a tense interchange, God softens both of our hearts and gives us time to reconnect and find peace in our relationship. She’s been pestering me to take her driving and usually the last thing I want to do after working all day is get back in the cold car and drive around in the dark. Last night, however, I gave in and we went for a little drive. While we drove around and ate some sour gummy worms, she opened up and shared with me about how she is hurting for a close friend of hers. There is nothing she can do, really, to help this friend other than be there for her and pray for her. I think it’s a good learning time and am hoping it will cause her to draw closer to Jesus. God reminded me as I sat and listened to her share her heart for her friend that she has an immense capacity to love. She has always been that way. She can be such a sarcastic little toot, but then she can also be fiercely loyal and loving. Getting a glimpse again into the true girl, not just the insecure teenager, gave me peace – peace about her future, peace in remembering that God is big enough and loving enough to reach into her heart and draw her close, peace knowing that the rambunctious, hilarious, aggravating but also endearing personality He gave her will be used for lots of good throughout her life. Along with the other things that have caused me concern lately, I’m always concerned about my girls and their future with God. God always knows what I need and once again – he’s providing. He is giving me peace.