“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
I met Ms. Sharon when I was a teenager, visiting my aunt during the summer months in Denver, Colorado. I fell in love with her from the moment I saw her. She reminded me of my aunts back home, and boy could sister-girl throw down in the kitchen. Her fried chicken was everything. Ms. Sharon was my cousin’s sitter in the evenings when his mom worked, and anyone who knew him would think this the most unenviable job of all. I had never known a more mischievous boy than my cousin, Zach. Once, while he visited family down south, he made my Aunt Eula so mad that she pushed aside her walker and chased him around the entire house. After meeting Ms. Sharon, I thought surely he would have driven her crazy too, but as the days went on, I witnessed the most remarkable thing. He was still a little rascal, but around her he was kitten; doing everything orderly, just as she instructed. In my eyes, this was a bona fide miracle.
I didn’t know what Ms. Sharon had, but I wanted some of it. As I got older and matured, I often thought of her example. There was grace in even her mundaneness, and everything about her seemed to exude peace. I never heard her raise her voice with Zach, and this was a response he provoked from just about everyone else, and he enjoyed it; but not with Ms. Sharon. She had what so many proclaim to possess, but never quite walk in it. She had authority, because she truly believed that the love of Christ is at the center of it. The peace of God effortlessly flowed from her being and demanded everything around her to fall in alignment; even Zach.
Philippians 4:7(NIV) says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Peace is defined as having a steadiness of mind and heart regardless of external disturbances. Sometimes we find ourselves struggling to have this level of peace. Often, it is because we don’t go to the Source. God’s peace transcends ALL understanding. We can’t reason with it or try to squeeze the heft of its calm into our little boxes of logic. God’s peace requires a surrender—a total surrender, and this means that the flesh doesn’t get its way.
We can’t have faith and fear at the same time. And we can’t have inner peace and chaos at the same time. We, you and I, have to make a choice. Either we’re going to believe that God wants us to be peaceful, and that He’ll work in our hearts and minds to bring us His peace, or we won’t. If we choose God’s peace, then we’re going to have to trust that He sees all and knows best. He’ll lead us on a peaceful path. Not choosing this path is where some of us run into serious trouble.
Everything isn’t going to be rosy all the time. Jesus Christ didn’t promise that it would be. We don’t get to do all the things the flesh finds pleasurable. I’m sure Ms. Sharon could have thought of a million other things she’d rather be doing than sitting with Zach each day, but she knew she was called by God to care for him—to invest in his life, and to make sure he understood that someone believed in his potential.
Heavenly Father proved that He wants us to live a good life. He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice is the greatest gift ever given in all of eternity. We can be our best for God because He has given us the best; this is undeniable. He’ll only tell us to do those things that promote peace and well-being in our lives. The prophet said in Isaiah 26:3(NLT), “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Often inner chaos comes because we’re not trusting God or doing the things that He’s told us to do. But if we’ll anchor our minds and surrender to the path of His perfect peace, we will see that everything in our lives will begin to follow.■
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“Achieving Inner Peace” written for Overcomingdomesticviolenceorg.wordpress.com. Copyright ©2021. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!