Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:8
I was cleaning out my book bag recently and found some treasures smashed up in the bottom of the bag. One of them was a certificate I received for participating in a teacher workshop a while back. I found it odd that I got a certificate for doing nothing but sitting in a chair for six hours. I suppose I could look at it as a celebration of new knowledge and I should be grateful for new ideas. If I put it in a frame and hung it on a wall maybe it would make me feel smarter and more important…nah…I doubt it. Do you ever feel like sometimes we make a big deal out something that’s really nothing much at all? I will admit from time to time I think I’m smarter than I really am and in those instances, life and a needed dose of humility usually swoop in and put me back in my place. The truth is; no matter how many certificates or degrees I accumulate there will still be heaps and heaps of stuff I don’t understand.
Last week a truly beautiful woman of faith, strength, grace and joy entered into Eternal Life after a battle with cancer. She weathered the hopes, disappointments, pains and frightening reality of the disease in a style that left those of us who knew and loved her inspired and strengthened in our faith. Marla left behind three young sons, a devoted husband and a huge family who will be forever changed by the lessons her fight taught them. She faced each day of her battle with trust and surrender, offering God all of her fear and anxiety. All of that surrender and trust left her with such a peace. It wasn’t Marla’s peace, it was Gods…He had given it to her as a magnificent gift to fill in the gaps between His will and what the human mind and heart simply couldn’t understand. She shared that peace and all of us were allowed to witness something beautiful, something inspirational, something Godly…complete and joyful acceptance of the Father’s will. She was an incredible Daughter of God both in her life and in her death. As I tearfully pondered her death I came across this verse from Philippians and it made me realize my understanding and approval aren’t necessary for God to love, guide, protect and bless his children. As for my friend Marla, she’s being blessed in a more splendid fashion than I can even fathom and that brings my heart peace.
It doesn’t matter how smart we get, how many certificates we accumulate or how far technology advances, there will always be things we just don’t understand; things that just don’t make any sense. Things like violence, poverty, dishonesty, deceit, and 45 year old women leaving this world far too early. Those are the places God so desperately wants us to let him swoop in and heal. He wants to remind us that his peace is the remedy for our desperation, our sadness, our sorrow and our struggle. The more we lean on him instead of our own understanding and knowledge, the more he will surround us with his peace. I suppose it’s time to stop trying so hard to understand and try harder to be still and wallow in his peace.
A Seed To Plant: Make a list of all the things you don’t understand that trouble your heart. Now, fold up the paper and lift it up to the Father begging him to replace those things with his peace and guard your heart.
Blessings on your day!
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