Monday, April 28, 2008

Peace that passes understanding

One night, a few weeks ago, our area was hit with an impressive system of spring thunder storms. Several neighboring communities were damaged by tornadoes as a result of the storm system, but we were fortunate enough to be missed. This was particularly a blessing because it never occurred to me to wake my sleeping brood and move them to the safety of our basement. As I lay awake that night listening to the lightning serrate the sky and our house shake beneath me, my concern was only for the sleep of my children. I listened expectantly for their cries through the monitor. They never came. The storm passed and I wriggled my way back down into the covers, thankful for a few more hours left to sleep.

The next morning over breakfast, I questioned Ben about the storms. "Did you hear the thunder last night, Ben?" I asked him. "It was loud. Did it wake you up?"

"Yes" he responded quietly. "Very loud"

"Oh!" I said surprised. "You did hear it! It didn't scare you then?" I prepared to praise his bravery.

Ben sighed dramatically. "Ye-ah. I was scared. I crawled under my bed, and den it was over. I don't like funder"

"Ben!", I cried. "Why didn't you come get me?"

"I can come get you?"

"Oh Baby. Of course you can" And I gently explained to him how he was allowed to get out of his bed if he really needed us. Or if something frightened him.

"But not to play." Ben replied cheerfully.

"Nope. Not to play." I laughed and I planted a big kiss on his cheek.

I thought about this conversation all the rest of the week. The idea of Ben hiding, frightened, under his Bed because he didn't know he could run to me, hurt my heart. I wished that I had gone to check on him. I hated that he had chosen to suffer all alone, rather than come to me for comfort.

Eventually God started revealing to me how often I am like Ben; worrying, and agonizing over circumstances or decisions, yet failing to stop and seek comfort in my heavenly Father. Is it possible that He, like me, is grieved that I am choosing to suffer alone rather than cast my burdens upon him?

A good friend of mine has been going through a very difficult time in her life. For several days in a row I spoke with her and she was fraught and even nauseous with worry about an upcoming event. Then yesterday I spoke to her again, and the change in her was immediately apparent. She told me honestly, that she had spent some time the night before on her knees. Crying out to God and seeking His peace, and she had received it. It was almost like I could picture her spirit running into her Father's arms in the middle of the night for protection from the storms. And I could imagine His relief at finally being able to give it to her.

Philippians 4:6-7
tells us.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
And while I have known this verse for most of my life, I feel as if I am seeing it for the first time. We cannot stay hiding alone under our beds in the storm and wonder why we do not have His peace. It is apparent to me now that casting my cares upon Him must be something I do daily, diligently, as I find myself becoming troubled. Stopping in the midst of the chaos to seek Him. And ask for the peace of God to transcend my own understanding and guard my heart and mind against my worldly circumstances. For that is what our father is longing to give us.

How awesome is that!
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ~John 14:27


Mommy P said...

WOW, Joy!!! That is amazing!! I feel so much better after reading your're a GREAT writer!!

painted maypole said...

what a beautiful post. and so true.

Kyla said...

I love those moments of concrete realization.

Lori said...

What a perfect post on the National Day of Prayer!! I wanted to write something on that topic and fell flat.

I have been re-discovering this truth myself lately. Thank you for sharing those familiar and perfect verses.

Don and Lynn said...

It's funny~I came to this pivotal point in my life last week. When both the boys were sick and whining and wanting me, I had to get on my knees and hand it over to the Lord. There just wasn't enough of me to go around. I wanted to run away and hide from everything. After praying, I had such relied, and the boys started feeling better. Thank you for your beautiful post. You can put it into words in such a way that I can't.

Don and Lynn said...

Oops, I meant relief where relied is. LOL!

flutter said...

This is lovely

Chrissy said...

Wonderful post, and truly words that I needed today. thank you.

Catherine said...

Wow - I love it when our daily lives suddenly teach us so profoundly like that. Thanks. (And, sorry for Ben. :()