John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
There are very few things that can cause me to lose my cool and have a bad day. I’m going to list those things for you here. Car trouble. Computer trouble. Extreme busyness/feeling rushed. Money trouble. In times past, my reaction to problems such of these has ranged from being in a horrible mood, being in a depressed mood, being short tempered with those around me, being sad, and being mad.
This past week, I’ve had some things going on. Car trouble. Computer trouble. Extreme busyness/feeling rushed. And money trouble. This week has been the perfect storm of all my most hated problems in life, all of them hitting at once like an unforeseen storm. My car is on the verge of death, and I have no money to fix it. Even if the problem only cost $40, I wouldn’t be able to fix it right now. My computer, the place where I spend so much of my life doing my job and watching shows and playing games and writing and studying, has a major problem and none of the people in my life who can help me with it have been available to help. My job, which has been pretty calm lately, exploded into a mess of massive stories and wrist breaking deadlines that had me typing as much and as fast as I could. And my money, which is never far above zero, seems to be disappearing faster than I can get it into the bank, with bills totaling up just about to the exact amount of each and every paycheck.
And to be honest with you, I don’t think I’ve ever been more calm and at peace and joyful than I’ve been this week. The presence and peace of the Lord has just settled over my life like a cloud this week. I’ve not felt anxious or angry or depressed or worried or anything negative at all. Aside from a single moment of frustration on Monday morning when I was trying to get my bible blogs off my faulty computer, I haven’t felt anything but peace this week.
Peace is a funny word to me. I used to always equate it with war in my mind. You’re either at peace or at war. These days, the word has a much more personal meaning to me. Peace is inside me. It’s a state of mind and a state of being. But it’s not a state I enter into on my own. On my own, at this point in the week with all I’ve got going on, I’d probably be at the depressed stage. I’d be in bed right now, thinking about how unfair life is and how I don’t deserve everything that’s going on. But I don’t do anything on my own anymore. As I grow in my faith, as I learn more and deepen my reliance and understanding of who God is, He’s given me so many gifts and blessings. And this week as I’ve faced all of my most despised problems in life, He’s given me an overwhelming peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
As I close out this week of special blog posts I want to talk real fast about what each of my problems this week have taught me. Car troubles. My car troubles have really opened my eyes to the incredible support system God’s put into place around me. My roommate/best friend has been incredible about letting me use his car when he’s home from work. My family lives right around the corner, and they too have been nothing but supportive and helpful when I need a ride or need to borrow a vehicle for work. If my car isn’t fixable, I know that I’d never once miss a work assignment or miss a church service/event, because my friends, family, and new church friends, would see to it that I got to where I need to be. What a blessing it is to see your support system on display for you like that!
Computer troubles. In a lot of ways, my computer has been my life. It’s where I work, where I play, where I spend the majority of my time. Behind my car, it’s my most prized possession. And without it this week, I’ve done just fine. Less time on games, less time on the internet, less time watching shows, it’s actually been a welcome break. It’s also been an important reminder that I’m not defined by my computer. I don’t find my identity in my writing, in playing games, or on the internet. My identity is through the Lord, who loves and guides me and delights in me. I’m also blessed that I have multiple people in my life who can help me fix my computer. I look forward to working alongside them and spending time with these wonderful people when we do get around to doing it.
Extreme busyness/feeling rushed. My job is a privilege. What I do is important. People rely on me to be a truthful source of city news for them so they can know what the people in power in their cities are doing. Most days of the week I’m free to do whatever I want. The rare days when my job is all consuming are just a reminder of how lucky I am. Every day of the week is like that for some people. I pretty much only feel that way once or twice a month. The Lord led me to this job, and it’s become a platform where I’ve proclaimed that Jesus is my Lord to thousands of people, and will continue to do so. It’s also the only job that lines up perfectly with my skills and talents and allows me to fulfill my childhood dream of writing.
Money troubles. Money is not my god. Money is not my barometer of success. Money is a tool, and like any tool it can be used for good or for evil. Money can consume me, it can control my moods, or it can simply be a way of keeping the power and internet on at my house. Instead of being distressed that my paycheck barely covers my bills, I will rejoice that my paycheck covers my bills. Instead of being saddened by how little is left over each week, I will thank my God for how blessed I am, and say a prayer for those who have nothing left over each week. God’s shown me time and again this year that He is my provider, and that no matter what my bank account says He will be there for me.
What could’ve been a nightmare week has been a week of peace for me. These impromptu blog posts turned out to be a huge blessing to me and God really worked through these words to show me how loved I am and how much He loves all of us. I’m excited about life, and I’m excited about the work that my God is doing in me, around me, and in this world. His peace is everlasting!
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, today I pray peace into the lives of all those around me. My family members, my friends, my church family, anyone reading this blog, Lord, I just ask you with an earnest heart that you’d extend the peace you’ve visited upon me this week to each and everyone one of them. I’ve lived these problems before Lord, and when I handled them on my own I was wrecked and consumed. But with you in the right position at the head of my life, it’s been a week of comfort, peace, and blessings. God I want to spread this peace beyond myself, please give me continued opportunities to do so. Through music, through writing, through conversation, through the newspaper, however I can be used by you Lord, please use me. I want everyone to know this love, this incredible love and peace that can only come from you. I thank you for all that you are, all that you’re doing in my life and in the lives of those around me, and all that you will continue to do. Thank you for being a God of peace and love, thank you for the gifts you give to us. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.
That’s it for this very special week of blog posts. Next week we’ll either have my previously written Psalms studies or some new Psalms studies, it all depends on the computer situation. I love you guys, and I’m just going to continue to pray peace into the lives of everyone. I can barely fathom how I’m so calm and peaceful this week, but it’s just one of those awe inspiring God things. God loves us so much, and He’s so good to us. Everyone have a safe and enjoyable weekend!