You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. ~ Isaiah 26:3
The dictionary.com definition of peace is “freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession; tranquility; serenity.” Rewind to 2010 and my life was anything but peaceful. My mind was distracted. My life was chaotic. My marriage was hanging on by a thread. I felt hopeless and thoughts of giving up were looming heavily in my head. I think I was a bit depressed then, too. Peace was further away from me than the sun is from earth; or so I thought. The fall of 2010 is when I discovered a peace Paul spoke of in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It was that dismal night that the lightbulb went off and my spirit gently reminded me that true peace would only come from surrendering EVERYTHING and leaving all of the worries and cares of this world, at the feet of the throne. As tears streamed down my face, I told God that I had tried things my way, however, then, in that moment, He could have it all because it was too much for me to bear. Right there, in the stillness of twilight, I felt God embrace me. It is a feeling I’ll never forget or how much lighter I felt. He took the crud of my life and replaced it with a peace I will never, ever give up… a peace that passes all understanding.
When I surrendered everything to God, there was a mental shift. Anything representing drama, chaos, unnecessary distractions became a thing of the past because I refused to take on any of the baggage I had given to God. Yet, despite the hustle and bustle the holiday season brings, peace remains a constant in my life because it keeps me grounded… focused. Peace helps my mind stay right because the daily conversations with God remind me that in Him I have freedom from the busyness of life that can overtake me if allowed to have its way. Daily stressors send me to my knees asking God to remove anything from me that isn’t of Him.
I also learned that the state of being at peace requires total transparency with God. He knows everything you think and will do anyway, so why not be honest with him about the mundane details that so easily entangle us (Hebrews 12:1)? Those moments of brutal honesty keep my mind clear, sharp, focused and honest. When my kids work that last nerve, I retreat to my room and talk to God. See, peace saturates every fiber of your life if allowed to. It makes the difference between a peaceful home environment or a chaotic one. Also, it’s worth noting that nothing good has ever come from a cluttered, unsettled, or disorganized mind. I implore you today to embrace a peace that will often leave you speechless and yet humbled because you know it is because of nothing you have done on your own accord. God’s peace is priceless and freely given to anyone who will humble themselves before the Him and lay every weight at His feet and leave it there…
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ~ Matthew 11:29-30
Editor’s Note: The following is Denise’s tribute to her mother, Marjorie Powell, who passed away earlier this week.
Marjorie L. (Spears) Powell was born on 2/24/56 and called home to be with her Lord and Savior on 12/15/15. She suffered from liver and bile duct cancer since January 2015 and in her way, fought a hard fight against a disease that ravaged her body. This past year my mother was not at peace as she fought this disease. Yet, she would smile through her pain and made attempts to live normally until 4 weeks ago when her body could no longer resist the hold cancer had on it. She labored to exist for the last month and now, she is finally at peace. A peace that passes all understanding as we, her children,family and friends, attempt to have peace in knowing that our mother, sister, cousin and friend is no longer suffering. Peace in knowing that with God’s help, our pain will diminish in time.