Peace, the third attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit, begins in your heart. As I reflect back on my childhood, I always think it was pretty normal, whatever “normal” means. I grew up in a large, loving family and we had what we needed and a lot of what we wanted. I became a wife and mom and life was still pretty “normal”. I became a Christian as a teen, but it was during my 30’s that I experienced a deeper relationship with Christ and my life was transformed.
Three years ago, my 30-year marriage ended and I found myself alone for the first time in my life. Well, I wasn’t alone…. God found me crumpled in a heap and pulled my face up to meet His. We had walked closely for years, but this trial found me clinging to God like never before. I remember distinctly the day I cried out to God… fear had invaded my heart and mind. I felt paralyzed; I didn’t know what to do. I opened my Bible to these familiar verses and allowed them to fill my heart:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
After what seemed like hours, I got up and stood there- something was different- I was different. My anxious, fearful spirit was replaced with peace; my entire heart was filled to the brim! When I recognized that God was in charge, I was able to let go of the fear… which made room for His peace. When I surrendered everything to God… EVERYTHING… He poured His perfect peace into me….
Now, I want to be clear, this was still a really hard and painful season for me. But, now that peace was reigning in my heart, I could quickly defuse fearful or anxious thoughts, feelings, and situations. And now that I had asked for and received God’s peace, it was overflowing from me onto others! I remember telling a friend that I had never experienced peace like this; and it came at the least peaceful time of my life!
Are you experiencing anxiousness, fear, or discord? Have you tried to find peace in friends, books, shopping, or food? Turn to God and allow Him to fill you with His peace… He is enough…
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15, NIV