Sunday, June 28, 2015

Picking Fruit - Peace

Here we are, my friends.  The last Sunday of our series on the Fruits of the Spirit.  I thank you for letting me share my thoughts on this incredible passage.  It has certainly been good for my soul and the self-reflection has assisted in the way I want to live my life. 
Peace is one of those topics that I think of quite a bit.  I'm not sure why it means so much to me.  Maybe because there were times in my life when I didn't experience it and I understood what the weight of NOT having peace brought to me.  Maybe it is because since then I have experienced the wonder of peace and realize how much I need it.  I do know it is a topic I would truly love to research.  I went back and realized that the last time I wrote about peace was during Advent as it is one of the Advent candles.  Then, I shared about Peaceful Chaos, about finding peace during the chaotic life we lead. 
Today, it's time to share a different type of peace.  Have you ever experienced an "unpeaceful soul"?  I am sure my mother is sighing a huge sigh saying "unpeaceful" is not a word!  I know Mom, but I also know that when I say that, I'm sure there are others who will agree.  Let's look past the peace of our days, to the peace of our souls. 
It is very hard to find peace deep in our souls when we have something so pressing on our souls.  I know many, right now, who have difficult situations they are struggling with.  A health issue, a relationship issue, a career decision, a faith issue - these are the types of events in our lives that can move our souls from a peaceful state to an "unpeaceful" state.  How do we gain peace back in our lives during those moments of unrest?
We rely on our Lord.  I can hear many of you out there, "That's easier said than done."  Maybe.... maybe not.  Spend a few moments with me.  The Holy Spirit brings all of these wonderful fruits into us, into our lives.  Over the past few weeks, we have seen opportunities where he has brought joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, faithfulness, and gentleness.  I have heard from many of you how you have seen and felt the power that the Holy Spirit can have on our lives.  Why should peace be any different?  Peace for our souls means we have to do one thing - just one thing - rely on Jesus.  Not just rely on Him a little, we need to rely on Him for everything.  When we cannot understand the "why" behind an issue, we have to believe God is the why.  When our explanations, or lack thereof are not enough, we have to believe that God has the only explanation.  When indecision brings indecisiveness, we have to believe that God will show us the way.
Then, and only then, will we have total peace.  I admire the women that are strong in faith during a time of illness.  When I had cancer, I relied on my Lord for many things - yet, the "peace factor" didn't seem to be there.  I wasn't sure why, but I wrestled in my soul as to the many situations that seemed to be happening around me when I had cancer.  The struggle was real and would keep me awake many nights.  When all the treatments were done, God guided me to a favorite place in Jackson, NH.  It is a beautiful, large, sitting rock in the middle of a stream.  There, I sat, by myself, with no hair, and my journal.  I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote some more.  With each word, a sense of calmness came over me.  With each word, I gained a soul that was full of understanding.  With each word, I gained peace.  That was the time and the place God granted me peace, when I fully gave everything to Him.
We may not have a full understanding of why things are happening in our lives at every moment.  We won't always be able to find the reasons, the explanations.  We are fortunate that we don't have to find the reason - Jesus is our reason.  Jesus will bring clarity.  It may not be today, it may not be in this lifetime.  We need to trust that by asking God for peace, and then relying fully on Him, He will bring the peace we need.

For those that are struggling, and for those who know people who are struggling, let us share the prayer below:

"Heavenly Father, whether we are struggling with having peace in our own souls or know someone who is struggling, please be with us.  Bring peace to those who have an "unpeaceful" soul.  Let them know that relying on you and you alone can bring true peace.  Having peace in our lives lets us fully live in your glory.  Bless all who read this that the peace that passes all understanding will bring them joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness."

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Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope we can share how God's grace has been life changing and that SIMPLE FAITH, getting back to a life that is rooted in the basics, can truly set us free to achieve so much in our lives.