"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!" John 14:27
This week, as I study some verses I had been meditating and thinking on, this one really caught my attention. I have "known" God's peace is something He gives to those whose minds are stayed on Him. But when I read this one, it really penetrated my heart and mind that His peace is a gift! A gift is something you take from someone without giving payment back. He has given me HIS PEACE therefore I am not to be troubled or afraid! Its like this week, it hit me down deep...it got beyond the "I know that" to I KNOW THAT!!!
I have struggled with how to deal with stress and Biblically deal with it especially over the past year. This past year, a lot of different things have come into my life that have challenged me and I admit, I have "stressed" over them. God saw fit to take home to Himself a very dear friend of mine. This was a very sudden thing and it really shook "my world". Then we moved from IN to ND and although I know it was God's will we moved, the whole thing was stressful. My mom has been struggling with health issues that have caused me concern and its been hard being so far away from her. We homeschool our children and have sought to educating them well but I still "stress over" am I doing it right, am I giving them what they need, etc, etc. Through all of this, I knew God is in control and never allows more into our lives than we can handle with His strength and grace but I let panic take over at times with a lot of "what ifs" and then I developed "heart" problems and the doctor basically told me my heart was great and probably the stress from the last year or so was taking its toll on me physically.
I joined an on line Bible study recently and we have been working thru Scripture and principles in dealing with stress Biblically. Its exactly what I have needed and I feel like I am growing so much now! Its like light has dawned on this marble head of mine and I am learning to see life more thru the eyes of the One who loves me unconditionally! I read a definition of peace...."Peace is the ability to rise above our circumstances, overcome our innate tendency to stress out over problems and learning to remain calm and confident despite what is going on around us. This real peace- a peace based on Christ, not people or circumstances. A peace based on faith, not a personal desires being met. A peace based on a quieted heart not on a quiet house. " That is the peace God promises to those whose mind is stayed on Him...not the problem!
I have placed about eight different verses around my house to help me to focus on God and what He promises rather than on the "stress" of the moment.