Some time ago I mentioned that I often ask the Lord for a word or a verse to meditate on for the upcoming year. November/December 2018 I had felt impressed I should meditate on the word “peace” for 2019. In fact when I felt Him whisper “peace” my instant thought was, “No, it’s okay Lord. I’m good. Let’s pick a different one,” because I knew that learning to have complete and trusting peace is really only grasped while walking through painful storms.
Last fall I actually mentioned to Dw that I just don’t want fear, panic or anxiety to have any part of my life. I was frustrated that my instant response to a sudden storm in life was one of fear or panic. When surprised by life I want to live in a place of calm, peaceful assurance that rests knowing the Lord is at work, no matter what the situation looks like. When facing an unexpected pain-filled trial I long for quietness of heart and soul to confidently echo George Mueller’s words:
“If the Lord fails me this time, it will be the first time.”
When I was growing up my heart was filled with anxiety, fear and panic, no doubt, from all the trauma and abuse. However, as the Lord enabled me to walk out my emotional healing in my twenties, for the most part, the anxiety, fear and panic turned to peace and eventually if you had questioned me, I would have said I have peace almost all the time except when something unexpected happens. I suppose one could say, “Well that’s just how life is, we are human and it’s natural to panic when something traumatic happens.”
Yet I felt that, personally, I have been missing out on a deep spiritual nugget. I believe our astoundingly faithful God does not want me (or you) to have our first response to any unexpected trauma be one of dread, panic, fear or anxiety. His best is for us to have perfect peace and a quiet confidence. And really, I long to fully understand all He wants for me, living out my faith in victory. I long to walk in true permeating peace even in the midst of unexpected trials and painful storms! So as 2018 was drawing to a close that was my heart’s longing and my constant prayer – to have my first response be complete peace instead of fear and panic should something traumatic happen. And truthfully, even though that was my longing, when the Lord whispered “peace” I panicked. (ha! Because I knew that His peace is not learned in any way except trials.) And wow oh wow, has this year been a doozy for painful trials we never saw coming.
So what have I been learning this year?
George Mueller’s quote has become my personal theme song!! George Mueller has long been my personal hero because of his life of faith and his passionate love for the orphan. He’s the man I can’t wait to meet in heaven one day as he was a living, breathing faith-machine and if you’ve never read his biography, it will seriously challenge your soul. The best biography I’ve ever read about him is by Janet and Geoff Benge and is pictured on the sidebar – just click on it and order it from YWAM – you won’t be disappointed!
When we really grasp that God has never, ever, ever failed us, we can rest in His peace. His plan for us is for good. Even in the midst of storms, He longs for us to know that “God is our refuge and strength – an ever present help in time of need” Psalm 46:1. He never sleeps!! We are on His mind at this very moment. He loved us so much He sent His son to die for us so that we could live with Him forever. There is nowhere that you or I can go that He is not there too. No one storm will come our way that has not already gone through His loving fingertips and that means that all storms will be used for His glory and for our good.
Over this year as I have prayed and asked the Lord to allow my instant response to be one of quiet, confident trust when a sudden opportunity for panic occurs I have come to realize a few things:
1. Confident peace comes from meditating on God’s Holy word and I have added many Bible verses scripture around our home.
2. Worship music quiets the soul and we play it much of the day.
3. For us, our Memorial Box has become a focal point more than ever this year. It is filled to the brim with our family’s personal stories of God’s rescue, His provision, His protection, His surprises and His deep love. In fact we take every Friday during our Bible study and pick one or two objects out of our Memorial Box and re-tell the story. How can I panic when He has been so faithful?
No doubt, many of you have been walking through some of the most painful seasons of your life. Your soul has been hit by unexpected storms that you never saw coming! Some have faced devastating situations that you never would have picked for your life and I want you to know that God loves you so very much and He longs for you to see His hand at work in your heartache and trauma. He desires you to have His perfect peace. So I encourage you to dig into God’s word where you will find hope, comfort and peace. Turn on worship music and let the words soothe your soul. He is always astoundingly faithful – even in our darkest days and longest nights!
Here are some of my favorite worship songs that have been on repeat throughout each day:
Goodness of God actually causes me at times to weep. God has been so very good to me – even in the midst of painful abuse as a little girl, through all the heartache and loss I’ve personally had, I can see His goodness – all my life He has been so faithful.
And really, He’s been so faithful in your life as well – whether you can see it at this moment or not.
“Those who hope in Him will never be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23