Tonight, I don’t have a lot to say about things (well, I could type all night but will spare you). However, there has been one word that has been resounding in my mind all day. Peace.
I don’t know why, but I feel like there may be someone reading this tonight who is in the midst of a storm and needs to find the peace that passes all human understanding. Not the peach the world offers through pleasures, diversions, and denials. You’re needing the peace that comes from within that no man can take from you.
If that’s you tonight, be encouraged that God is with you. He hears your cries and knows your tears. He will look over you and shadow you from the heat of the day and bring light to the darkness. He knows the plans He has for you and those plans are for your good. He wants you to find peace and to be whole.
Rest in that assurance. It’s the only place I know where true peace can be found. Just open your arms and heart to Him and He will bring His grace to your situation; no matter what it is. He will bring rest to your soul and calm to your storm. Trust in Him with all your heart, and He will make your paths straight…
So often we concern ourselves with strengthening our home security, our job security, and our financial security. All of which are great endeavors. Less often, we spend time reinforcing the security of our hearts. It’s something we all struggle with. Ironically, what happens in our heart will affect everything else in our life. If we keep that safe and strong, the rest will come together on it’s own.
The heart I’m referring to is our spirit, or soul if you will. It’s an easy thing to neglect, frankly. The heart is something we sense and know is there, but all too often, our minds and bodies rule the day. Our mind is consumed with the cares of the world, the tasks of the day, and the ever-growing stresses of life. Our bodies, for most of us, just go along for the ride and provide the escape from the mind’s pressures when consuming that beloved coffee or chocolate on the sly.
It’s the soul that is so difficult to define. I see it as the knowing of truth vs lies. It’s the love that comes from within us for our fellow man. It’s the questioning of our existence and why we’re here. It’s the belief system that tells us there is a higher power and that He loves us. It’s the part of us that lives beyond this life for eternity; our spiritual body. So, how do we protect it? How do we make it strong?
Unlike the safety zones around our military bases surrounded by walls, our hearts are the opposite. If we build walls around them, we will shut out others and, possibly, even God. The healthier our heart is to be, the more open it needs to be.
Like our physical bodies which become strong through exercise, weight training, and a healthy diet, our soul becomes strong through feeding it God’s word, exercising our faith, and carrying the burdens of others. It’s when we put aside the mind and body’s demands and allow our hearts to take center stage that the soul becomes stronger.
Tonight, I want to encourage you that, if you feel weak at heart (‘soul’), you can get stronger. God says that it’s in our weakness (our soul’s weakness), that we become strong through Him. He will give you the strength of heart when you feel like giving up. He will guide through His word and make it alive in you. He will fill you with His power to stand up against the weight of this world. In Him, you can do all things. And, in Him, your heart can be reinforced and you will become strong…
Tonight, there was one thing on my heart. Although it’s Spring Break for many of us, there is still plenty of stress happening in our lives, whether at work or at home. Stress can destroy us emotionally and physically. It’s one of the toughest things to deal with.
I try to channel my stress in ways that are constructive like focus at work, walking with the Mrs., enjoying a sunset (not many of those lately), or just spending time relaxing while sharing a good movie with the Mrs. Still, the stress comes back.
For those who know me, I’m really am not a worrier. I don’t sit and mull over things again and again. Over the years, I’ve learned to take challenges for what they are and not make them bigger in my mind than they are in real life. Still, the stress comes back.
Sure, I have allowed myself the occasional non-productive ways to deal with stress like staying up too late binge-watching a good show on Netflix, eating too many of those York mints, or just acting like a total goof annoying the Mrs. to no end. Still, the stress comes back.
The reality is that we’ll always have stress. Jesus didn’t promise us a life without it. He said to us a long time ago, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble (stresses). But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He didn’t promise us a rose garden, but He did promise us His peace.
His peace is all we need. Sure, some of the natural ways of dealing with stress help, but in the end, the only real way of dealing with it is through His peace that overcomes all the stress that keeps come back again and again and again. Tonight, if you’re needing His peace in your life, take a moment to ask Him to fill and touch your heart with it. He will give you His peace beyond anything we can do to deal with the stresses we face. He will not only give you peace, but He will lift any of the burdens you’re carrying too. We just need to ask…