Hello hello! Bryan and I are back home safely now and get to return to a normal life for two weeks until I have to head back to Mayo. We did thoroughly enjoy our little get away though and despite the long flight delays yesterday, even our travel home was fun. Our first plane was delayed due to mechanical issues so we had to book a different flight to Minneapolis and then home from there. We did however receive vouchers for the inconvenience and ended up getting to use them on food and even a book from a bookstore in Minneapolis. So see, God works even the VERY littlest things together for good! (Plus the fact that we went to Minnesota with 3 books and returned with 11 is the mark of a very good trip indeed!)
I know I have been quoting a lot of passages from my and Bryan’s devotions lately but hey, when God speaks, God speaks. And who am I to tell Him the best method, right? So a few days ago while we were in Rochester this was my devotion:
“Learn to live from a place of resting in Me. Since I– the Prince of Peace– am both with and within you, you can choose to live from this peaceful place of union with Me. This enables you to stay calm in the midst of stressful situations, by re-centering yourself in Me. We can deal with your problems together– you and I– so there is no need to panic However, the more difficult your circumstances, the more tempting it is for you to shift into high gear and forget My peaceful Presence.
As soon as you realize you have wandered from your place of Peace, return to Me immediately. Call upon My Name, for this reconnects you with Me and helps you feel safe. Don’t be discouraged by how often you wander from Me. You are endeavoring to form a new habit, and this takes time plus persistent effort. The rewards, though, are well worth your efforts. The more you return to Me– to our resting place– the more peaceful and joyful your life will be.” -(Jesus Today by Sarah Young)
Please tell me you were as comforted and relieved after reading that as I was?! Man! As I read those words, I could just feel everything in my life becoming more simple. It was like the hundreds of lines of complications slowly began to blur and as things came back into focus, all that was left was Jesus. Jesus, and peace, and joy.
Firstly, what a load off the daily troubles of life that is to know that God is a place of resting for us. Jesus is the PRINCE OF PEACE and all we have to do is step out of our stressful situations and rest in His peace! He is constant and has a place for us to set down our burdens anywhere, any time, any place. I know it sounds cliche but it doesn’t matter what situation it is, whether you are battling cancer or a bad attitude; His place of resting is always there.
And the best part is that resting in Jesus is just that easy. THAT’S WHY IT’S CALLED RESTING! How we as humans have managed to overcomplicate this process, I don’t know. Scratch that, I do know. I believe that one of the HUGE lies satan feeds all of us is that we have to jump through a million hoops and work through a ton of red tape before we can finally set our burdens down before God, and that by the time we work through all of that it would’ve just been easier to have carried it ourselves and kept lumbering along as we were. People! That is false!!! God’s peace is not something we have to work for. No! It is right in front of us and there for the taking. God has ALREADY given it to each of us. Get that. Whatever situation you are in, God has ALREADY GIVEN you peace but it’s your choice whether or not you are actually going to accept it and rest.
Think about it this way. Since I have been flying in planes a lot lately this is the illustration of God’s peace that keeps coming to my mind. I remember the first time I flew on a cloudy day. Before we took off it was dreary and gloomy and so, of course, my mood was in sync with the weather. (For those of you who don’t know me, my mood most always coincides with the weather!) But then, as we left the ground and our altitude increased, the clouds broke and suddenly there we were. We were above the clouds, above the rain, above the gloom, and there were sunny skies as far as I could see! For a minute I was baffled because it was a rainy day, the forecast said so. I had seen the clouds and felt the rain just a few minutes before so how was I now in sunny skies? And then as I looked back down at the earth, it hit me. Even though I could see the parts of the ground where you could look up and see only cloud and dark, there was still a perfectly sunny day just a little farther up. All I had to do was rise above the clouds and there was instant sun!
Life works the exact same way. From where you are standing in your particular situation, maybe all you can see are cloudy skies and rain with not a bit of sunshine to be found. But, check it out, this is where God comes in! Now, I have had some times in life where it wasn’t just cloudy. I’m talkin it was monsooning with thunder, lightning, tornadoes, hail, and hurricane force winds, but the minute I set my stress down and asked God to give me peace, I felt Him “put me in a plane” and suddenly I am soaring in sunny skies and filled with His peace.
You see, God lives on the sunny side of the clouds and sees our lives and our problems from an accurate perspective. When He offers His peace He is offering us rest and the ability to see beyond what our “forecast” says and to see our problems for what they truly are. When you’re underneath the clouds and in the dark, it’s easy to get caught up in the fright of the storm, but the storm is never as big as satan may make it seem. I’m not saying that your problems aren’t real and that the pain isn’t real. Believe me, I have felt real pain. I have been repeatedly struck by the lightning of my own storms, but what I’m telling you is the peace of Jesus Christ is able to transcend every problem you have and every storm you face. God’s forecast is always sunny, with a chance of sunny.
So whatever you are facing, pray and ask God to give you His peace and His rest. Even if you’ve asked before and then wandered back under the clouds and into the storm, He is faithful to give you rest again and again. All you have to do is ask.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” Exodus 14:14