Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Peace in the Midst of Suffering...
A few weeks ago Bryan taught a Sunday School class on suffering. To me, suffering is like a raging storm, painful and difficult to navigate. It's overwhelming and consuming and feels like it's endless. It seems to be a reoccuring theme in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. I guess it will always be, considering that it's through suffering that we become more like our precious Jesus. And without going into all the suffering details, I will say that I had the quiet opportunity to experience the peace of my Heavenly Father in the midst of the storm.
Two days ago I got up early for a doctors appointment. I had a small window of time to get dressed and spend time with the Lord before my kids got up. I sat down and opened my Bible to Philippians 4:4. This passage is one of my favorites and I was grateful that Jesus led me to those scriptures so quickly. Verse 6 says "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the PEACE of GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Verse 8 goes on to give us the tools we need to keep our minds at the feet of Jesus : Think on whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praisworthy.
So to get His peace, we unload/pour out our hearts and minds to God. His peace then protects our hearts and minds. And then we meditate/dwell on the characteristics that verse 8 mentions.
I think this is the key in suffering. Pouring it out to Him. I don't do this enough and many times turn to people instead of God. Sure that's OK sometimes, but He is my Father and Creator and knows how to meet my needs better than anyone.
As I wrapped up my quiet time, I realized that rain was gently falling. I sat in total silence and listened to that peaceful, wonderful, refreshing rain. It was the most peace that I had physically felt in a long time.
God is so good that He would provide peace in so many ways. Sure the storms are still raging, but just for a little while I sat in calm. And it was wonderful.