Church of Trees, Belgium
I could stare into this photo for hours. Look down the path, and the middle tree is a cross. Exactly the kind of tunnel vision we are to have through life. Putting blinders on to all the chaos around us and walk straight on the path set before us by God, to God.
I began a new journey with God starting January 1, 2012, to find and know peace from the depth of my soul. I want to stay in that place with Him no matter how hard the circumstances around me become or remain. I want to know Him intimately in a new way this year. I want all that I endured last year to have purpose in my life. I don’t want any of it to be forgotten either. I long to be changed from the inside out.
The last 10 months I have asked you all to walk with me inside the places of my heart that have been forever changed, in hopes that you will join me in finding freedom.
I remember standing in my father-in-love’s room on Christmas Eve at the ER last year and thinking his words will live with me forever. “Even as bad as this situation is and as horrible as I feel, this day has been everything I want and wonderful.” He meant every single word. He loved his family with every fiber of his being, and we were all by his side. We shared stories of past Christmases and laughed even though we all just wanted to cry.
That statement rings in my ears day after day.
Entering this world, you take your first breath. Leaving this world, you release final breath.
Don’t waste a single breath.
Live fully. Laugh often. Choose wisely. Think before you do or say anything. Love radically.
When any of my loved ones are stressed I remind them, to breathe in Jesus and breathe out fear, stress, worry, etc. Breathing is a proven way to slow down our pulse and help us to regain our ability to think rationally. Which means with reason. Without reason we are simply allowing our emotions to rule our actions. From personal experience that never turns out well.
Breathing in spiritual and emotional life versus death, is a choice.
Everything you do in this life is a choice.
You will either serve and love, God, or yourself.
You will either rely on God, or yourself.
You will either seek nothing but the truth or you will be fooled by the lies of this world.
“Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for—because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.” Peter Marshall (1902–67) Senate chaplain, prayer offered at the opening of the session, April 18, 1947.
I remember the first time I heard that quote. My grandfather was weeks away from passing away. I was 14 yrs. old. I had no idea how much that quote would mean to me now, almost 30 years later.
Throughout my life I have tried out many ways. They all failed me. Except one.
Following God’s way has never failed. Not even once.
I won’t lie and say this journey of walking by faith has been easy. Daily I have to make hard choices. To die to self and put those in my life first, even when they make it next to impossible for me to desire that.
But God. My two favorite words. EVER!
Because I know without a shadow of a doubt, that without Him, my life would be empty.
I never would have found the peace I have it were not for God’s mercy, grace, and love.
God makes a promise to all of us, that His peace will be ours when we trust in Him, think about Him, seek Him, pray to Him, believe upon Him, and rely on Him.
No matter what you have faced or will face, God will be there to offer you His peace. We just need to reach out to Him and receive it. We need to let go of things being our way, and accept that His way is best for us. Trust me that was hard for me to do many times over the last 8 years. But once I stopped fighting Him in many areas of my life, I began to understanding this verse in action.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
I realize this post has gotten long, but I can’t end it without sharing Ephesians chapter 3
1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. 8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
I pray you will take these truths to heart and allow them to become your meditation today and for weeks to come. There is no greater peace, than His. Nor a greater love.