Some of you are feeling on edge these days. You may have been told work from home for a few weeks or plan for the possibility that your kids will be out of school for a long period of time. I get it. We’re in the same boat. Our governor has just said that schools will not re-open before next Fall. Sudden changes are causing a degree of stress for us all. If not dealt with, this stress will manifest in our physical bodies. To maintain a peace-filled disposition, we must inspect our souls–the immaterial part of us that comprises our mind (thoughts), our will (choosing/surrender part), and our emotions. What we think about our circumstances must be reviewed through the lens of God’s Word.
I dedicated an entire chapter on the topics of security, change and peace in Cultivating the Souls of Parents. Here are a few excerpts.
Sometimes what displaces peace is the fear that our situation is hopeless. We can’t see the other side of a challenge, and we let our thoughts drift away from what His word says about our future. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11), Holding onto these truths will help us stay in a place of incomprehensible peace.
He is the anchor of our soul (Hebrews 6:19); therefore, we won’t fall apart, even when we feel emotionally drained.
He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5); therefore, we know He is there to help us fight our battles.
He turns our mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11). Every season is temporary. He gives us endurance when life is tough.
Heaven contains the throne of peace. Desiring and praying for “on earth as it is in heaven” teases our longing because we know that indeed earth will never be heaven, and heaven is the ideal that we desire. Despite that, the peace of Jesus Christ (James 14:27), secures us to a foundation when everything else around us is unsteady. It comes when we fix our eyes on our God who cannot change. (p. 136)
Seasons of Change
Circumstances change all the time. Jobs, finances, people—all of us experience unwelcome change. But we want security. In fact, we need security. However, if we make these things the source—the provider of our peace—then we are going to be in turmoil if something ever happens to them.
|When our world one day is vastly different from the day before, we experience various levels of stress.|
“How Comfortable am I Supposed to be on this Side of Heaven?”
Change is troublesome and meddles with our sense of security and comfort. When our world one day is vastly different from the day before, we experience various levels of stress. Those of you who remember 9-11 know what I mean. Our minds reel when life as we knew it, can never be recovered. Once, I asked myself, “How comfortable am I supposed to be on this side of heaven?” The challenge of our earthly life is to wait for what we know will come but cannot be at present: consistency, constant safety, and social unity. Times of laughter, rest, and fulfillment do give us a glimpse of eternity with God, but our daily reality involves difficulty and change, and stress stifles our peace. (p. 136)
Jesus lived in a jaw-dropping state of peace despite being hated and rejected by many and despite living under oppressive Roman rule. He was not moved by circumstances; rather, He moved circumstances. He slept during a storm when veteran fishermen were freaking out. To stay peaceful, Jesus did not look at His circumstances. Neither should we. Furthermore, Jesus often got away. He went to the top of the mountains to have quiet time and pray. Each of us needs to find that spot and time of day that we can get recharged through spending time with God. I am certain that Jesus’ version of peace had to do with His relationship with the Father. Through Him, the Prince of Peace, we now have a relationship with the Father. And He does not change! The one constant we have, as believers, is our unchanging God. Friendships change and kids grow up. The world changes. But our peace on earth is linked to our relationship to the Father, the One who desired our existence and sent Jesus to restore us to Him. (p. 142)
Take a few moments every day and find a quiet place–even if it’s in your car, close your eyes and express your thoughts and emotions to the Lord. Be real with Him. Take off the religious “I’m fine”mask that we often hide behind when we pray. He’s not offended by our raw honesty. In any storm, when our sense of security and normalcy feels threatened, our anchors can go deeper as we spend time with the Prince of Peace.
#cultivatingthesoulsofparentsbook is also available online at Barnes and Noble.